From a New York Times best-seller erotica novel to the big screen, the movie Addicted is a highly anticipated box office blockbuster. Director Bille Woodruff and a star-studded cast bring to life in vivid color this black and white page-turner that has everyone talking. The movies’ tumblr page says, “Addicted is a sexy and provocative thriller about desire and the dangers of indiscretion. Successful businesswoman Zoe Reynard (Sharon Leal) appears to have attained it all – the dream husband she loves (Boris Kodjoe), two wonderful children and a flourishing career. As perfect as everything appears from the outside, Zoe is still drawn to temptations she cannot escape or resist. As she pursues a secret life, Zoe finds herself risking it all when she heads down a perilous path she may not survive.”(1)
Parlé Magazine sat down with Bille Woodruff to get to know the man behind the scenes before Addicted is released in theaters nation-wide on October 10th.
Parlé Magazine: How did you get involved with this Zane project? Did it find you or did you find it?
Bille Woodruff: It found me. Paul Hall, veteran film and television producer presented me with a new script for Addicted, which was adapted for the big screen by Christina Welsh and Ernie Barbarash. I had seen a script years ago, but it wasn’t ready and never went into production.
Parlé: How can you tell when a script is ready for production?
BW: Well, it’s never really ready; it’s more like an evolving process. It has to grab my attention and be a really good story; then we edit, write and edit some more.
Parlé: What makes Addicted a great film?
BW: The cast—they gave everything and the story itself raises questions about life situations, love, relationships, family and about addictions. It’s a sexy, erotica thriller that will leave audiences on the edge of their seats.
Parlé: As a director, do you have a responsibility to culture, to giveback or even to tell a particular story?
BW: I’m moved to tell stories that move me—relate to me. I want to give audiences something that they can learn from, be enlightened by and elevated to another level. So with this, I am very aware of the messages I’m putting out there. I’m an artist and my talent comes from a special place and I don’t want to pollute the world with negativity.
Parlé: Do you always give the audience what they want?
BW: I am aware of the audience and I want to make films that are pleasing to people. But at the same time, I don’t let them stop me from taking risks or stifle my creativity. I do listen to others and use them as a sounding boards for my ideas; especially the guys from the barbershop.
Parlé: Is directing something that comes easy for you?
BW: Some things about directing I could do in my sleep; they’re just instinctual. Other things like the logistics, research, working with the actors, creating a new world or something out of nothing requires a conscious thought process for me.
Parlé: How did you get into directing?
BW: It was something that I just stumbled upon. My major at the University of Maryland was cultural anthropology, but I was also interested in art, design and fashion. I did an internship with BET, learned as much as I could and worked my way up to an Executive Producer. I eventually started directing music videos for up and coming artists.
Parlé: As a youth, what films inspired you?
BW: I use to watch movies at the Byrd Theater in Richmond, VA when I was a kid. I remember seeing Sparkle and Mahogany and thinking that I had never seen people of color look so amazing. The hair, make-up and fashion were a huge influence on me. I was also inspired by Vertigo; Alfred Hitchcock has always been my favorite director.
Parlé: If you could offer a piece of advice to someone that wanted to walk in your footsteps, what would it be?
BW: I would tell him or her to use every opportunity and tool that you can. Educate yourself and become a social media guru. Some people say it’s not what you know, but who you know that makes you successfully. I would say, it’s a combination of both that can be helpful in making it in this industry.
Parlé: What else would you like our readers to know about?
BW: The next big thing I’m working on is the VH1 two-hour TV pilot, Drumline: A New Beat, which is the sequel to the film, Drumline. There’ll be a twist this time with Alexandra Shipp who stars as Dani, trys to become the first female section leader. Nick Cannon will be back as Devon Miles and is also executive producing the film. It’s slated to air October 27th. And don’t forget Addicted; in a movie theater near you, October 10th.
Follow @BilleWoodruff to stay current on all his upcoming projects!
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