In the sequel to last year’s popular UP Original Movie Marry Me for Christmas, it’s a year after Marci Jewel (Malinda Williams) and Blair Kirkland (Karon Riley) declared their love for each other and decided to tie the knot. But as the big day approaches, Marci is so consumed with work that she’s had no time to plan her wedding. To make matters worse, she may have to team up with former assistant/fake fiancé Adam to win a project she’s been vying for – a little tidbit Marci has held back from Blair. But Blair, as it turns out, has a secret of his own. Thanks to years of doing pro bono work for financially-strapped clients, he quickly is running out of cash and might have to accept an offer to work for his longtime nemesis, Marci’s manipulative cousin Preston (Carl Payne). Meanwhile, Marci’s mother Stephanie Chandler Jewel (Victoria Rowell) is making some rather bold moves of her own with her sexy salsa teacher, Antonio Simpson (Marques Houston), who is more than a little smitten with her — and about 20 years her junior. Will there be a wedding for Christmas? Better yet – whose wedding will it be? Naturally, the festivities wouldn’t be complete without family, including Marci’s Uncle Donald (GregAlan Williams), Aunt Myra (DeEtta West), Aunt Elizabeth (Chrystale Wilson), Charlene (Dawn Halfkenny) and Antonio’s uncle Lawrence Simpson (Kristoff St. John)
Read our interview below with Malinda Williams.
Sylvia: With you being such a multi-talented woman/entertainer, we would also like to congratulate you on such a multifaceted and diverse career that you’ve developed. Can you give us just a little background who Malinda Williams is?
Malinda: You know, first of all, thank you for saying that, and it’s very interesting because I think when you, you know, in the earlier days of my career, I guess, I didn’t necessarily set out to be multifaceted or have all these other things going on, they just kind of happened along the way. You kind of just want to live the fullness of life and you want to maximize the opportunities that come your way and that’s kind of what I’ve done, and everything that you see out there, whether it’s a film or a TV show, or some digital content piece, they’re all extensions of who I am, they’re all extensions of things that I truly enjoy doing. They are parts of who I am and what my passions, so all of those things and all of those different characters, they sort of speak to different pieces of me if you will, and different expressions throughout my life. I always try to incorporate those things into my work so it doesn’t feel like work. It just feels like I’m living my life and then presenting work that’s based on who I authentically am.
Sylvia: So, has acting always been your first choice for a career path for you to take, and if not, what was that career path that was going to be your number one thing?
Malinda: You know, it wasn’t my first choice though it was something that I had been doing since I was child, but I didn’t think of it in terms of a career, it was always something that was sort of extra-curricular like you put your child in ballet or dance class or in gymnastics or in a sports program, and that’s kind of what my parents did when I was young, they put me in modelling and acting. And so, that’s kind of how it felt to me right up until I turned around 15 or 16 when it was time to get an actual job. And I was like, “Well, but I already make money doing this other thing so why do I need to go out and get a job? That is my job.” But, again, that was just sort of another way to earn money, and initially it was a great thing because I had saved up enough, my parents and I had saved up enough money that I could buy my own car, and so I was like, “Okay, this isn’t a bad way to make a living,” but my passion at the time was cosmetology and I actually wound up, when I graduated high school I went to cosmetology school, and my dream career at that time was to become a hair stylist and to eventually either own a chain of salons or run somebody’s beauty shop or something, that’s kind of what I had originally intended. And then when I came out to LA acting just kind of took off and sort of took off and took over.
Sylvia: Like I said, we’ve seen you on so many different levels, things from music videos, as well as TV series, things like “Soul Food,” “Daddy’s Little Girl,” even your portrayal in Ruff Endz’s “Someone To Love You.” We have seen you so many different things, so now we’re going to get the pleasure of witnessing you in the Up TV’s “Marry Us For Christmas,” the sequel to “Marry Me For Christmas.” So, our question is how did you hear about the part and what was your preparation process for this?
Malinda: Originally we did a film called “Marry Me For Christmas,” this was last Christmas season, last holiday season, and I had done a couple projects with the gentlemen from Swirl Film who produced this film, and they produce a lot of films for Up TV and some other outlets and also some straight-to-DVD projects as well, and so I’ve just developed a relationship with them and last year they approached me to produce “Marry Me For Christmas” as well as star in it, and of course I wasn’t going to pass up that opportunity. I read the script, they told me that Victoria Rowell would play my mother and I had never worked with her before, so I was just excited to venture into a territory that I hadn’t previously ventured into and producing for TV as well as getting to do something that was light hearted and fun, you know, it was my first holiday project that I had worked on. And who doesn’t love a good holiday movie? Holiday movies seem to transcend time, you can replay them every year and make people feel good. I was like, “Yeah, I want to be a part of that.” Let me just go ahead and take that and add it to the things that I have accomplished I guess, if you will. Like, if I had never done it before, so I wanted to try it.
READ MALINDA ENTIRE INTERVIEW IN OUR JANUARY ISSUE OF PRESTIGE. RELEASED DATE DEC 25, 2014