It seems sin is a good thing when it comes to Lifetime. The cable channel found ratings success last year with the first two movies “Lust” and “Envy” in the “Seven Deadly Sins Anthology.” More than 9.4 million viewers tuned into the based on the series of books by Victoria Christopher Murray.
Next up in the series is “Wrath: A Seven Deadly Sins Story” slated to debut at 8 p.m. April 16. A week later, the next offering in the anthology will focus on “Greed.”
“Wrath” is the story of a single lawyer, Chastity Jeffries (Michelle Williams), who meets Xavier Collins (Antonio Cupo). He seems to be everything she is looking for in a partner as he is handsome, smart and a lawyer as well.
Things go bad when his affection turns to obsession. Jeffries realizes that she has been swept up by his passion and abandoned her principles. She confides in her mother, Sarah (Tina Knowles-Lawson), and turns to her former childhood boyfriend, Roger Thompkins (Romeo Miller), for help.
Williams – who is best known for being a member of the singing group Destiny’s Child – has been doing more acting in recent years. She found it very easy to slip into the strong and independent character for the Lifetime movie.
“I resonate in so many ways with the character,” Williams says. “The director, every now and then, would pull me to the side and say ‘go deeper, go deeper.’
“Because of strength and independence, sometimes you suppress certain feelings. But this movie, I got to air it all. The tears were able to flow. I don’t like to cry in public. I like to have my cries in private but when you take on the role of acting, you definitely have to tap in and go deep.”
Williams has been working on her acting skills since 2006 when she appeared on the TV series “Half & Half.” Along with a host of music videos, she has appeared in the TV series “Family Time” and “Raven’s Home” plus the cable movie “Christmas in Harmony.” She points out that “Wrath” is really her biggest acting opportunity on screen as she has always been more of a theater actor.
The Illinois native found great success in the music industry. Along with selling more than 35 million records while with Destiny’s Child, she also became a top performer in the gospel world.
Williams was in a kind of trio again with “Wrath” working closely with Romeo Miller who plays her savior and Antonio Cupo who plays the villain of the story. It was easy for Williams to work with Miller because along with his acting career, he also has found success in the music world as the rapper formerly known as Lil’ Romeo.
Despite Williams and Miller working in both the acting and music worlds for more than two decades, the pair never worked together before being cast in “Wrath.” Miller is surprised it took this long for them to team in a project but Williams is certain the film came along at just the right time.
Williams says, “God’s timing is the best timing. This was divine.”
Miller agrees with William’s assessment of the casting. He goes on to say that often the public thinks that just because people work in the same industry that they have numerous opportunities to work with everyone.
Now that they have had the chance to work together, Williams and Miller are highly complementary of each other as actors. They also have high praise for the other member of their acting triangle in Cupo.
In Cupo’s case, the Canadian came to “Wrath” with a background deeply entrenched in the acting world. His credits include “The Lizzie McGuire Movie,” “Smile,” “Mystery Island,” “Bomb Girls” and “Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce.” Getting to be the bad guy gave Cupo a chance to show off another aspect of his acting skills.
“We all have certain characters within us,” Williams says. “We can choose to either act on those emotions or suppress those emotions. For this character I feel like this was a little bit of a stretch for me.
“The feelings of jealousy, I haven’t felt in a number of years although I remember a time in my life in my early 20s or late teens when that was kind of a thing. I had to come to this realization of whether I wanted to live my life like that.”
Cupo was able to put those feelings behind him to such a degree that even playing a character consumed by jealousy seemed very wrong. He was willing to face the dark emotion to be part of the “Seven Deadly Sins” anthology series.