Exclusive! Michelle Williams on Making Her Film Debut in Lifetime's "Wrath: A Seven Deadly Sins Story"

By Behind the Scenes in Hollywood Archives
Cover image for  article: Exclusive! Michelle Williams on Making Her Film Debut in Lifetime's "Wrath: A Seven Deadly Sins Story"

Twenty-one years ago, as a member of the mega-successful trio Destiny's Child, Michelle Williams (along with bandmates Beyoncé Knowles and Kelly Roland) sang about being a "Survivor." This weekend, Williams puts that to the test making her film debut for Lifetime in Wrath: A Seven Deadly Sins Story, the third in the network's series of Seven Deadly Sins movies. Williams (pictured at top) portrays Chastity Jeffries, a single attorney who believes she's met the man of her dreams in Xavier (Antonio Cupo) -- until her life is up ended when his affection turns to a disturbing obsession. As Xavier's jealousy and wrath intensify, they lead to suspicion and threats to those closest to her. Desperate, Chastity enlists the aid of her childhood boyfriend Roger Thompkins (Romeo Miller), and together they find themselves immersed in a real-life nightmare.

As a veteran of the Broadway stage, choosing to make her film debut was a big decision for Williams. However, the fact that it was a Lifetime project made it simple. "I'm a fan of the network -- of course!" she declared in an exclusive interview with MediaVillage. "And I do have a great relationship with the producers, Derrick Williams and T.D. Jakes. I've known them through the years. And the character resonated [with me] in so many ways. She's strong and independent. And then there was the amazing cast."

Joining Williams in that cast (and also making her film debut) is Tina Knowles-Lawson, who portrays Chastity's mother Sarah. The two share a long and fruitful history. Knowles-Lawson (pictured above) was a creative force behind Destiny's Child and has continued to play den mother to the ladies throughout their careers. Lawson also happens to be the mom of Williams' former bandmate Beyoncé. "When Derrick said Miss Tina would be playing my mother, I knew it was going to be easy work," she beamed. "On a set, it's long days and long hours, so it's good to have somebody there that you have a relationship with [who] doesn't make it feel like work. You know, Miss Tina has been like a mother to me and a nurturer and protector for 22 years. So, we just assumed our roles and had a blast.

"She would be fixing my hair on set, kind of like the old times when we'd be on tour or having to do PR and promotion," Williams continued. "It's just natural. I could be at her house for dinner or something and she'll be like, 'Girl, you got a fly-away.' She just went right into what she does, so it was natural for her."

Having Beyoncé's blessing added to the excitement of the project. "We saw each other somewhere and were talking about how [Miss Tina and I] were about to begin filming and that we'd be doing a movie together," she recalled. "So, we talked about it, and how excited we [both] were about that."

Another familiar face in the cast for Williams was Romeo Miller (pictured above), whom she'd encountered during his days as rapper Lil' Romeo. Surprisingly, they had never really met. "When you are at an awards show, sometimes you get to say hello to a person and that's it," she explained. "But with this project, it was so cool for us to kind of really catch up and spend some time together. I do follow him on social media, so you feel like you almost know someone. We just caught up and didn't talk too much about what each of us was doing in our careers. We just wanted to know how each of us was doing personally, especially within the last few years of the pandemic."

The previous films in the Deadly Sins series have proven to be huge successes for Lifetime, but Williams felt no hesitation about joining the franchise. "There was no pressure because the cast is so amazing," she said. "Each film is a different topic, so you know that each person is going to bring their interpretation. With the guidance of the directors and the producers, everybody is going to make each film the best that it can possibly be."

There was another significant aspect of the project for Williams -- something that has been hugely important to her throughout her career. "No matter what projects I've done, especially on Broadway, or the theater, I've always tried to find an element of faith somewhere in it," she explained. "No matter what a person believes, we're all spiritual beings. So, it was good knowing that. My character gets a little naughty in this movie, but having that foundation of faith, I knew that it was going to be okay. And knowing the producer, I knew the movie was not going to go too far.

"Still, some of the risqué scenes were very difficult," she admitted. "I'm a private person. I'm private in my relationships -- period. But they were very kind to me on set as far as making sure that there weren't any unnecessary eyes that didn't need to be there. They were very kind and very, very, respectful."

Williams is hopeful the film enlightens viewers to take notice of relationship red flags, and how they manifest. "Abuse can show up in different ways," she said. "Often people think abuse is physical, or verbal, but it can seep in as emotional, and you don't even know that it is [happening]. Someone can be ignoring you -- they stonewall you. You don't even realize that's what's being done, as often you just want to continue to see the good in a person."

With one Lifetime project done, Williams is open to doing more. And with former bandmate and good friend Kelly Rowland already a member of the Lifetime family, she's not ruling out the possibility of a mini-Destiny's Child onscreen reunion -- maybe for a future holiday-themed project? "Oh my gosh," she beamed in closing. "That would be a joy, and so much fun to do. I'd love that!"

Wrath: A Seven Deadly Sins Story will be telecast on Saturday, April 16 at 8 p.m. on Lifetime.

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