Thanksgiving and Christmas came early to Detroit as filming for TV One’s original holiday movies, “Royal Family Thanksgiving” and “Royal Family Christmas” was filmed around town at some familiar Detroit locations.
Featuring an ensemble cast including Vivica Fox (“6 Ways to Die,” “Independence Day: Resurgence”) and Romeo Miller (“Brotherly Love,” “Madea’s Witness Protection”), the stories follow a middle-class African American family as they navigate the ups and downs of family relationships strained by the holiday season.
The Royal family led by patriarch Leighton (Richard Lawson) and matriarch Alfreda (Debbi Morgan), kick-off the first film, “Royal Family Thanksgiving”, with a fake break-up ruse to lure their overly-busy children home for Thanksgiving.
Surprises and challenges ensue, including drama with Alfreda’s envious sister Mona Levi (Vivica A. Fox); the revelation of a deep, dark family secret involving Alfreda’s former acquaintance Chivonne Price (Tichina Arnold); and dealings with Leighton’s super-loud, outspoken cousin Nelson Royal (Ricky Harris).
“I haven’t done a family oriented film like this since “Soul Food”. This movie talks about the dynamics of family and the different dynamics of us as black people. Every character is different. We’re hoping that this film shows people that when family gets together it can be crazy but there’s always love,” said Fox.
That feeling of love is also apparent off the set as Fox shares how she is always making time for the newer talent on the production.
“We’ve got a lot of young upcoming talent on this project and I always take them out and fellowship and talk. They’re generation next so I feel we have an obligation as seasoned performers to reach back and help pull these young women and men up. It is my job,” said Fox.
Some of those young talents who have the pleasure of being advised by Fox are Michigan natives Jonathan Holloway and Eric Myles who were fortunate enough to snag significant roles within the film.
“You know I lived in L.A. for nine years and I have been booking more work now that I moved back home to Detroit. It’s crazy,” said Holloway.
University of Michigan student Eric Myric also said he couldn’t believe his luck.
“I originally auditioned for a small role that had a significant scene but less screen time. I wasn’t expecting to get it because you get used to hearing no in this business, so when they called me back and offered me a principal role I was completely shocked and blessed,” said Myric.
The former rap star, Miller, is starring in the sequel “Royal Family Christmas”. Miller will play Phillip “Flip” Royal, the character is expected to represent a good-looking spiritual guru who seems to know it all.
“I was actually up for a role in another film and I read this script and decided that I had to do this film. This movie is about family and shows that family isn’t perfect. A lot of people think that in order to be happy you have to be perfect and that’s not true you just have to be present,” said Miller.
Royal Family Thanksgiving premieres on TV One, Saturday, Nov. 21 at 8 p.m. ET. The sequel Royal Family Christmas will air on Saturday, Dec. 5 at 8 p.m. ET.
Detroit spotlight of TV One’s family holiday movies was originally published on michronicleonline.com