Actress Crystal Renee Hayslett, now starring in Tyler Perry’s BET+ show “Zatima,” was once Perry’s stylist for five years.
But she didn’t tell Perry about her desire to act for many years.
“I feel like a lot of times when you’re in a particular position, you need to do what you’re supposed to do in that position,” she said in an interview last month to promote the second season of the popular BET+ drama. “There are so many people coming to him every day asking him for something. I didn’t want to be that person.”
Instead, Hayslett used her time on set as an opportunity to watch other actors. “On-the-job training,” she said.
When Tyler Perry was producing “Sistas” for BET, Hayslett was a producer and costume designer. She felt close to the material and provided Perry creative feedback, which finally opened up an opportunity for her to finally tell Perry of her acting aspirations.
She called him while he was on the road on his final “Madea” stage tour.
“His words were, ‘I love that idea’.” she said. “He’s been so supportive from day one of anything I wanted to do.”
In “Sistas,” Perry gave Hayslett the role of Fatima, an assistant at a law firm, who meets Zac Taylor (Devale Ellis), an ex-convict trying to rebuild his life. They become a couple and the feedback from viewers was so strong, Perry decided to create the spinoff last year, combining their fictional names and calling it “Zatima.”
“The fans really showed up and showed out,” she said. “We were No. 1 on the network.”
The couple is now engaged. “We’re taking the audience on a ride,” she said. “They’re so used to seeing us laughing and being in love. But that isn’t always going to happen.”
The second season debuted last week with two episodes.
“Shazam! Fury of the Gods” disappointed in its opening weekend, falling short of studio expectations.
The DC superhero comedy starring Zachari Levi, shot in metro Atlanta but set in Philadelphia, grossed about $30 million this past weekend domestically with another $35 million overseas.
The first “Shazam!” drew $53.5 million in its opening weekend on its way to a solid $140 million domestic gross and $225 million international take.
Fans who did show up gave it a B+, based on surveys from CinemaScore compared to an A for the first movie. Critics only gave it a 53% positive rating on RottenTomatoes.
According to Deadline.com, “Shazam’s inability to fly at the box office has largely to do with the fact that there’s no want-to-see among core DC fans in regards to this sequel. It’s not part of a connective tissue in the DC universe, nor was it ever, and that’s a problem that DC bosses James Gunn and Peter Safran are looking to fix.”
Another big-budget sequel shot in Atlanta, “Creed III,” in comparison, came out earlier this month and had its strongest outing out of the three “Creed” films to date. Marvel’s recent “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” also exceeded the opening weekend gross of the previous two films.
Credit: Todd Owyoung/NBC
Credit: Todd Owyoung/NBC
Atlanta native Kenan Thompson will be reuniting with his buddy Kel Mitchell a quarter century later in a sequel to the 1997 hit film “Good Burger.”
The announcement was made via a skit on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” on Friday. The sequel is set to air later in 2023 on Paramount+.
“I can’t believe it’s been a little over 25 years since great customer service was born at Good Burger!” Thompson said in a statement. “Being a part of something so many generations of people have come to love has made me so proud and now to be back where it all began working on the sequel is surreal! Love performing with my brother Kel and can’t wait to show the fans what these characters have been up to since we last saw them.
“Good Burger” started as a sketch on the Nickelodeon series “All That,” and led to the 1997 film, which grossed $24 million on a modest $8 million budget.
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Credit: Ben Hendren for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution