TV One networks continues its month of Love, Lies and Murder movies with its latest film ‘Loved To Death’. The film stars Malinda Williams (The Wood), alongside MC Lyte (Girls Trip), McKinley Freeman (VH1’s Hit the Floor), Tobias Truvillion (Empire) and Chrystee Pharris (Media).
Inspired by actual events, “Loved To Death” follows Monica (Williams) and Jackson’s (Freeman) relationship after the two meet over a pair of dropped keys. The couple soon moves in together and are met with financial troubles when Jackson loses his job. Feeling threatened and insecure, Jackson becomes physically abusive towards Monica. She ultimately ends her relationship with Jackson after meeting a fellow church member, but her ex, Jackson, is determined to win her back by any means necessary.
I sat down with Williams to talk about the film and its importance to those who might have either been in or know someone who’s been in an abusive relationship.
The Shadow League: What drew you to your role?
Malinda Williams: I play the lead role of Monica, who is a woman in a new relationship and she’s newly engaged to Tobias Trevelyan’s character and she’s just kind of getting out there again and starting to find love again and trying to find her footing in a relationship because she is leaving an abusive relationship, a long-term abusive relationship. So it’s really a cautionary tale of love gone wrong. And what do I mean by that? I mean that you know sometimes people misinterpret what love is. If you’re in a domestic violence situation, an abusive relationship, and you think that you’re being loved yet you’re not. But oftentimes because of the circumstances, an abuser is making you feel as though he is your only resource your lifeblood.
And that’s one of the things that the film highlights that’s what also drew me to the film because I understand that we can tell these stories about domestic violence and intimate partner abuse that looks like we expect them to look. You know, the man is typically the man who is abusing a woman physically and she’s in a very vulnerable state, whether it’s physically vulnerable or mentally or emotionally vulnerable, right. And what we don’t see is how those relationships begin, how there are subtle signs and usually red flags and warning signs that come along long before the physical abuse begins, and that’s what this movie, Loved To Death, highlights.
TSL: This film might trigger some who might have experience with this subject matter. What do you hope the audience take away from this film?
MW: First of all I want to say thank you for asking that question. And the first thing I want to say is there is a domestic violence hotline at 1-800-799-STATE. I also have a website, thehotline.org, so if anyone feels triggered while they’re watching, if they have questions, they could go to the website and get some of the questions answered and also find some resources where they can get some assistance and help. The thing I hope that people take away is knowing that they are not there alone.
There are conversations being had on my social media timeline now where people are just sharing their story and they said that one in three women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. That means either we ourselves, or someone likely very close to us, has had an experience with domestic violence and intimate partner abuse. My hope is that the movie will be a wake-up call to all of these things that we don’t understand about, or how domestic violence begins, and how we can avert this situation.
TV One’s “LOVE, LIES, and MURDER” films feature a series of stories which explore the dark side of love including deceit, betrayal, obsession and jealousy.
Check out a clip from the movie below.
‘Loved to Death’ is directed by Lee Davis and written by Chad Quinn and premieres on TV One July 21 at 8 p.m., followed by an encore at 10 p.m.