Regular readers of this site know my lane has primarily been boxing and Hip-Hop. For 2017, the BeatsBoxingMayhem brand will be expanding its TV and film coverage. In that vein, the first interview of 2017 is with veteran actress Kim Fields, who closed 2016 filming A Question of Faith here in the Atlanta area.
A Question of Faith, directed by Kevan Otto, is a Christian film that tells the story of three families of different cultures that are brought together by a tragic accident. The film also stars Richard T. Jones, C. Thomas Howell, Jaci Velasquez and Renee O’Connor.
Fields plays Theresa Newman, the first lady of the church and wife to Pastor David Newman (Richard T. Jones). At a time when black women are receiving prominent and diverse roles, Fields was attracted to the complexity of her character.
“With Theresa’s character, we don’t see her doing a lot of the first lady responsibilities,” said Fields. “What I love that’s implied is the example that’s been set before her with her mother-in-law (“Patricia Newman,” played by Donna Biscoe) and they have a very close relationship. One of the things I really loved about playing Theresa is that when she has to be really strong for her family, she does have those flashes of feeling ‘I’m not being very strong now.'”
Since the movie’s climatic tragedy happens to her family, the Fbiggest challenge for Field’s character is dealing with the concept of forgiveness.
“Even the scene today we’re filming where she faces the young lady that is the catalyst for the film’s tragedy within her family, it’s not a happy-come-to Jesus moment,” she said. “There is a very real struggle of ‘I know I’m supposed to be in a different place, Lord. But I need a little more help in getting there.'”
Although Fields remains proud of her seminal roles as “Tootie” in the Facts of Life and the ravishing Regine in Living Single, she relishes any chance to flex her dramatic chops.
“People know me primarily for comedy so I was excited to do a dramatic role that embraces the many complexities of being a person of faith,” Fields continued. “People tend to think that because you’re someone that’s saved or have a relationship with the Lord, that you’re just ‘blessed and highly favored’ and that’s it. There are really some highs and lows that we struggle with. Especially when it comes to the things we know we’re supposed to do vs. the humanity in us that screams out to go in the other direction.”
Ironically, it wasn’t a Biblical figure that kept Fields inspired for this role. She found her focus from a hit Broadway musical.
“Funny enough, I was listening to a great deal of the Hamilton soundtrack,” she revealed. “When were doing the scenes where we were dealing with our family tragedy, I was listening to the song where Hamilton dealt with his own tragedy. The music, singing and lyrics really moved me. It wasn’t so much direct preparation, but it got me in that vibe.”
A Question of Faith is scheduled for a fall 2017 release.