Popular R&B singer and actor, Marques Houston is as suave as ever in his new film, Will to Love. The film, written by Houston, Chris Stokes and Chad Echols is the first film released under the trio’s new film company, Footage Films. Will to Love was directed by Stokes, and stars, Marques Houston, Keshia Knight Pulliam and Draya Michelle (of Basketball Wives, L.A.). In the film, Houston’s character, Jamal Hawkins,
“is a handsome bachelor who will soon be a very wealthy man. As the primary heir to the “Let It Roll” toilet paper corporation, Jamal is set to inherit his grandfather’s empire. Jamal’s world comes crashing down when he discovers that his grandfather has placed a stipulation on his inheritance. The bachelor must find a wife before his grandfather passes away within the next 90 days.”
The singer, actor and longstanding entertainer discussed his new film and future projects in an interview with Kontrol Girl’s online editor/writer, Fallon Victoria.
Fallon Victoria: You have a longstanding working relationship with Chris Stokes, but how in particular did this project come about?
Marques Houston: I actually helped write the project along with Chad Echols and Chris Stokes. I have a film company that we just started together and we’re really focusing on giving, fresh talent an opportunity to work. Opportunity is everything. Someone gave me an opportunity and that’s why God has blessed me to be where I am now, so I think it’s really important as a film director to create more jobs and opportunities for the up and coming talent out there. That’s why we started the film company. The project Will to Love came about, as something to do for our first film. We needed something original and authentic. We wanted to do a love story. I’m a personal fan of love stories, so we came up with the concept and idea together and we sat down and wrote the script. We did the casting and everything and really made the vision come to life.
FV: The character that you play in the movie, Jamal, is a charming bachelor, that’s family oriented with a strong work ethic. What are the similarities between Jamal Hawkins and Marques Houston?
MH: The biggest similarity is the workaholic part. I’m definitely a workaholic. The bachelor part, not too much…I’m definitely into being in love and being in a relationship. I’m all about that and Jamal’s character knows nothing about that. He doesn’t event know how to spell the word relationship (LOL). I feel like his qualities as a man are the same as mine. You know, the love he showcases in the film for his family, the workaholic, yeah that’s definitely me.
FV: So what were the most fun and the most in depth scenes to shoot?
MH: I’d say the most fun scene to shoot was probably when we were all together to watch the football game. It’s always most fun when you can shoot the whole cast together. Everyone was cracking jokes. The most difficult scene for me to shoot I think was the ending scene. I don’t want to give it away for anybody who hasn’t seen it, but it was definitely the ending scene, having to pull that emotion out and really go there and put myself in that moment. For me it’s always difficult to do the emotional scenes.
FV: Of all of the characters that you’ve played in your acting career, which one of them inspires you the most?
MH: As far as inspiration, I’m not sure if I can pick one. I pull from each one; actually I can say each character pulls from me. I have to pull something from myself to put into each character. Because like the greats who’ve done it for before me, you can tell that even though they have different roles, they still have a piece of themselves that they pour into each character. So I like to do that and pour myself into each character that I do whether it’s the bachelor or the workaholic or the funny guy. People don’t know that but I love to be funny (LOL). I have a role coming up that I can’t talk too much about but it will be a very serious role. That’s going to be challenging being that I’m such a funny, upbeat guy.
FV: At the end of the day, what do you want for fans to take from this project, Will to Love?
MH: I want them to understand the true value and true meaning of love, because love is very important in the world today and we don’t have enough of it. You know people don’t really showcase love anymore and they don’t show each other love anymore. I feel like with this film, I would really like for people to take away from it that love is really the key to life. You can have all the money in the world, but if you don’t have anybody to share that with or if you don’t have true love then what do you have? Money’s not everything, and that’s what this movie showcases, that it’s not all about money it’s about love.
FV: I absolutely agree. Love is definitely lacking today, especially in an age where a lot of young people want fame and popularity over love.
MH: Exactly! Money and fame is all everybody is chasing. And you have kids out there growing up thinking that’s the only key, you know success, but real success is how you feel about yourself at the end of the day.
FV: So, let’s talk a little bit about your upcoming projects. Are you working on any new music, in addition to filming new projects?
MH: Yes, I do have some future projects that I’ve been working on. I just recorded an album. It’s really amazing and I love it. I thank God to still be doing what I love, which is music, film, and television. I also have a movie coming out early next year, 2016. It’s a romantic comedy with myself and Karrueche Tran so I’m really excited about that. I’m also working on a theatrical performance for next year. So I’m just trying to keep it going. As long as God continues to bless me to entertain and as long as I keep doing the right things in my life and keep putting Him first, I think that He’ll continue to bless me.
FV: Absolutely. Marcus, I really appreciate our conversation. It’s always great to talk to an entertainer who’s very much grounded and humble. Thanks for your time.
MH: Gotta stay grounded and thank you.
Marques Houston’s success and longevity in the industry as a versatile entertainer is quite impressive. And his new movie, Will to Love, seems to be the start of something even greater for his new film company, Footage Films.
-Fallon Victoria @mrsfallonv