Melvin Childs Presentsthe company helmed by producer Melvin Childs, released the highly anticipated film For The Love Of Money. The film stars Katt Williams, LisaRaye McCoy, Keri Hilson, Rotimi, Jason Mitchell, DC Young Fly, Cedric Pendleton and Jazzy Jade with features and appearances by music artists Latto, Keith Sweat and Lyfe Jennings.
For The Love Of Money tells the story of a single mother, who when pushed to her limits out of the need to protect her daughter and returns to a world she’s spent a lifetime running from.
Keri Hilson sat for an interview to discuss her role as Gigi Davis, Mental Health, and her return to music. This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.
For (bes) The Culture: For The Love Of Money has a very heavy-hitting cast; what was the energy like on set?
Keri Hilson: The morale was high. Everyone’s energy was light and positive. We did not run into any, say, cast issues of bumping heads. I connected the most with LisaRaye, who played my mother. We all bonded. Katt Williams and DC Young Fly kept us laughing all day.
For (bes) The Culture: How did it feel playing a mother on screen for the first time?
Keri Hilson: Although I’m not a mother in this role, I put myself in the place of Gigi Davis. I think her grit, fearlessness, and warrior spirit are me. So, I wouldn’t even say it was challenging to play a mother. The actress Jazzy Jade who played my daughter, was pure energy. Just lovely. That made me want to be her mama bear. And so, the things that I felt in the scenes were natural. She was made for the part.
For (bes) The Culture: How was your transition from singer to actress?
Keri Hilson: The shift was very natural. I tend to only really do things I really want to do. I put 200% of myself into everything that I do. So I do not just say yes to everything. So, if and when I am doing something, it means that it was natural; the time felt right. I will say that acting is a different beast than music. There are way more layers and facets to that craft. For all the people that think music, writing, performing, singing, recording or shooting video. Multiply that difficulty by eight. Each role that I’ve gotten afforded me to be a student. I see growth with every role.
For (bes) The Culture: You have become an advocate for mental halt and self-care in your nine-year hiatus from music. What was that process like for you?
Keri Hilson: My life is no different from anyone else in that no one’s exempt from hardship, failure, heartache, heartbreak, loss, or grieving. But, at some point in my life, the way I dealt with it was unhealthy, and it seemingly stunted my growth. Yet, in hindsight, it was one of the biggest catalysts for my life-changing and energy shifting and me becoming purer and wiser. I had to throw myself into caring for my mental health and very deeply uncomfortable things. I had a lot of cleaning up to do, which made me an advocate for mental health. When working on your mental state, you’ve got to dig down and go through a lot of pain and discomfort. But you end up in a more beautiful place. I feel like it’s my duty to be a beacon of hope for those that may feel hopeless, especially those that look like me.
For (bes) The Culture: Can you talk about some of the work that you’re doing with The Keri Hilson Foundation?
Keri Hilson: I work with children in the juvenile detention system who are abused or have been abused or trafficked. It’s called Youth Spark through the Keri Hilson Foundation. This is where I funnel the endeavors of my heart.
For (bes) The Culture: Is there anything you would like for us to know and look out for?
Keri Hilson: I want my fans to know that I am returning to music. That is in my plan; that is my desire. It’s a deep desire, and there are things that I want to do in that base when that time feels right.
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