Friday, October 10, 2014

Billy Woodruff - Film

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Billy Woodruff - Film

By Rych McCain International/Nationally Syndicated Entertainment Columnist and Facebook (Like Me)

Billy Woodruff

Directs “Addicted!”

"Addicted" Director Billy Woodruff

     Film director Billy Woodruff has built a respected track record of directing music videos for slew of superstar recording artists such as Lil Wayne, Jessica Simpson, Britney Spears, Celine Dion, R. Kelly, Usher, Tray Songz etc., as well as hit TV shows such as “The Game" for CW/BET and others. His films have included “Honey”, “Beauty Shop” and a musical “Rags” for Nickelodeon and in all of them had subject matter was pretty safe. Woodruff’s latest project “Addicted” starring Sharon Leal, Boris Kodjoe, Tasha Smith, Tyson Beckford, Emayatzy Corinealdi, Kat Graham and William Levy for Lionsgate/Code Black Films, is a far departure from anything he’s done to date. It tackles the subject of sex addiction straight up with no punches pulled. Sex addiction is a subject that has remained swept under the rug but is a real life dilemma for a lot of people. It generally affects men and women who were sexually abused in early childhood and their teen years. Once a child’s innocence has been sexually violated they are never the same afterward because that can never be given back. On top of that they are too young to process what happened and they lose respect and value for their body. Than anything goes i.e., gender role confusion, hyper sexual activity, prostitution and the list goes on.
Sharon Leal as Zoe and her husband Jason (Boris Kodjoe)
The movie is based on the novel of the same title written by the queen of erotica Zane. The sex scenes in the movie get pretty steamy. How important were they to the movie as a whole? Woodruff explains, “The sex scenes and how they were done; obviously as a director everything is important to me but because that is like a character in this film. What’s she’s going through and the problems that she has are manifesting themselves through this sex addiction so the sex scenes are very important to the character. 

Zoe and extra-marital affair love Quninto (William Levy)
I storyboarded everything ahead of time and I had
gone to sex addicts support group meetings to experience what that was like. Keep in mind that I wanted it to be tasteful so I met with the actors to see what they were comfortable doing.” Woodruff laughs, and added, “Then I pushed them further.” Woodruff is a perfect director for nude scenes because he says “I’m a sexual person. I don’t have hang-ups about sex and sexuality and also I have explored a lot of it with what I did in music videos. I had to always shoot people simulating having sex (but not in all videos). But I’ve spent a lot of time dealing with artists having to be naked and direct them. So it’s not foreign to me to do it in a directorial setting. I relate to my actors so I try to make everything as comfortable as possible.”
Cory (Tyson Beckford) was Zoe's 2nd back-up lover
     And if the sex issue was not enough, the film includes a parent abandonment issue as well. Cuban born actor William Levy’s character Quinton was a victim of his mother leaving him and his dad for another man. This all comes to a head as well. It is also interesting to note that Levy is a superstar hunk in the Latino entertainment world and “Addicted” is a rare film that has a Black and Latino lead. It will be very interesting to see how this plays out at the box office. If successful enough it could set off a new wave of Black/Latino (Blacktino) combination films.

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