As part of Lifetime’s continued commitment to bring awareness to causes worthy of notice from stopping sexual violence and abuse with Surviving R. Kelly to detailing the water crisis in Michigan with the Emmy-nominated film Flint, Lifetime next shines a light into the foster care system in the powerful new movie, I Am Somebody’s Child: The Regina Louise Story. Based on author and motivational speaker Regina Louise’s personal experience navigating the broken system, Ginnifer Goodwin (Once Upon A Time) and newcomer Angela Fairley (GodComplx), a foster child herself, star in the movie, premiering on Saturday, April 20, 2019 at 8pm ET/PT. Lifetime will also debut a new PSA, featuring the stars of the movie and Regina herself, driving viewers to resources and more information on adoption and foster care.
According to the description of the film, I Am Somebody’s Child tells the journey of a young African-American girl (Fairley) who navigates over 30 foster homes and psychiatric facilities before age 18, and the one woman, Jeanne (Goodwin), who believes in her. After Jeanne’s unsuccessful attempt to adopt Regina due to a racially motivated ruling, their bond is forced apart. I Am Somebody’s Child is Regina’s story of how one woman’s belief and love becomes her lifeline as she defeats the odds of a corrupt system and succeeds. After 25 years, Jeanne is finally able to adopt Regina in the same courthouse that denied them previously.
Right On! Digital gets the exclusive info about the film and more, directly from Fairley.
INTERVIEW BY CYNTHIA HORNER
Q: What attracted you to the role and were there a lot of other actresses up for the part?
A: What really caught my attention about the role of Regina Louise when I first heard about the audition was that the story that was going to be told for young Black girls out there and hopefully drives hope and encouragement for them. So many personal dreams have come true getting the chance to make this movie but the one that fulfills me the most is that I got to create a movie that I needed growing up and that underrepresented kids out there needed today.
Q: As someone who was in the foster care system, what did the experience teach you?
A: I am very fortunate that my time in foster care was not for an extensive amount of time and I am so grateful that I did not age out of the system. However, looking back at the moments I do remember from being in foster care, I see that believing in yourself and building dreams for yourself is one of the strongest lights you can bring to the darkest moments. Listen to what is inside of you.
Q: As a result of your experience are you an advocate for reform of the foster care system and do you encourage people to try to make a home for children by taking them in?
A: I strongly encourage people that would like to help with the foster care system to offer what they can and do it for the right reasons. There are many ways to get involved with assisting youth in the foster care system, so if you are not in the position to take in children and provide a loving home 24/7 then help out as you can. If you have the time to volunteer, become a mentor to a foster child and you can sincerely have a larger impact on that child than you may know.
Q: What are some of the takeaways that audiences will get when they view the film?
A: The beautiful thing about this movie is that there is going to be a different experience for everyone based on what they relate to, what they learn, what they are exposed to and how that impacts them personally. I would like for the children of any age and race to really see that no matter how dark your circumstances are and how stuck you may feel right now, you have the power to choose your future. You have the power to choose who you want to be on the inside and on the outside, and no one can take that power away from you unless you let them. Hold on to your dreams and when you feel like giving up, instead decide to keep going for that dream. Adults need to take a step back and ask themselves what is happening here because the way Regina Louise is being spoken to in this film is the way that adults are speaking down to children all over the world at this very moment.
Q: As an actress did you have any particular peers that you used to draw from when creating and perfecting your role?
A: One of my first jobs, when I was 16, was working with elementary school kids for three years, so I had a lot of time to observe their behavior and ticks. I always noticed that children are very quick and changing emotions; they can go through SO many emotions in the span of five minutes and they can have all of this energy and not know where to put it. I brought these observations to the role of Regina Louise. She did not seem to have a lot of time to get out her energy like most kids so you will notice that in the movie Regina fidgets when she is nervous or anxious. Sometimes it is with her grabbing her clothes or twitches in her facial expressions. You can never “perfect” a role; there is no such thing! A character never stops growing so I could play her for years and I would never be done exploring her. I did lots of research of Regina Louise, reading her memoir “Somebody’s Someone” was essential to the role and I had extensive notes and quotes from the book that I really gave me as close to an understanding that I could have to the love between Regina and Jeanne. One quote from the book that I had written on the cover of the script as a reminder was, “I didn’t like it when she wasn’t close by. It was like I stopped breathing or something.”
Q: Did you become close to anyone while working on the project, and if so, which actor/actress?
A: Ah yes, Ginnifer and I were two peas in a pod; she was such a great role model on set and we really clicked. I think you can see the chemistry on screen as well. We were great scene partners and had a flow. She was there if I ever needed anything or if I felt overwhelmed or was not having a good day. Kim Hawthorne was also so lovely to work with; she is so incredibly funny and we could talk for hours about anything. Watching Kim in her craft was also wonderful, every take of a scene was so different each time.
Q: What are some of your hobbies and interests outside of acting?
A: I love learning about business because one day I would like to own my own business. Outside of acting I love dancing just for fun and I like go to concerts with friends and travel! Next month I am going to EDC (Electric Daisy Carnival) and later this year most likely Miami and Toronto. I have my eyes on Thailand or Bali for next year!
Q: Do you have any beauty/fashion/skincare tips that you can share with the readers of Right On! Digital?
A: OMG YES! I could go on about skincare forever but most importantly, moisturize your face ad body every day. It is best to do it when you get out of the shower while your skin is still wet because it helps the skin retain more moisture. I live by LUSH’s products because they are cruelty-free and natural. I will leave you with two more: Pat your face and body; dry do not rub with the towel and use Coconut Oil for everything from head to toe!
Q: What are some of your upcoming projects or business ventures?
A: I am excited for the release of Season 2 of “Godcomplx” on Amazon next month! I work for a small business as an Operations Manager for their customer service department and within the next few years, I would like to invest money in property and eventually start my own business and invest in startups. I also want to own my own gallery one day.