If you’re joining the lovely Ayanda MVP for her #WildLove Lifetime (DStv 131) viewing party on Saturday, 7 November, you’re going to spot a familiar face. Saturday’s big movie, and November’s Lifetime Movie of The Month, is The Wrong Wedding Planner. It’s a twisted tale of a beautiful bride, her lying groom and their wedding planner… who turns out to be his psycho ex-girlfriend. And when nasty things start happening, the baffled bride gets Detective Jones on the case – played by none other than Vivica A. Fox.
Vivica isn’t just taking names and swinging her cuffs, she’s calling the shots behind the scenes, too, as The Wrong Wedding Planner’s producer.
The Wrong Wedding Planner was number 17 in Vivica’s line of Wrong movies. “Believe it or not, we just finished 21 the other day. Yes, we did The Wrong Prince Charming,” she tells us. “Everyone loves that we went from The Wrong Boy Next Door to The Wrong Wedding Planner, The Wrong Man, The Wrong Child. We do all of the Wrongs. Each movie is a fun thriller adventure for the ladies to go on.”
It takes a villain
The Wrong movies would be nothing without that one person that the heroine trusts at her peril – the one that has us shouting advice to her, because she clearly needs it if she’s going to hang out with someone like that. “Our villain in the film [Mandy the wedding planner, played by Kristin Booth, who was Bonnie in Orphan Black] was just phenomenal. She was the closest thing that I’ve ever experienced to a Glen Close kind of Fatal Attraction [the actress notorious for playing the bunny-boiling psycho ex in the 1987 thriller Fatal Attraction]. The Wrong Wedding Planner, out of the franchise, is definitely one of my favourites,” says Vivica.
Wrong movie fans are in for a treat when jealous Mandy goes mental after a cake tasting with the innocent, unsuspecting bride-to-be and destroys an entire wedding cake. “How good is that? When she turns around and tastes the knife and does it with a smile? And you’re like, ‘Oooh!’” Vivica hints. “See, that to me is when she gives you her Glenn Close moment. That’s close to boiling the bunny, right?” she laughs.
But to make that villain work, there has to be a core of motivation to their actions that we not only recognise in ourselves, but can even sympathise with. “That’s what I love about the director, David DeCoteau. When he gets with the writers, he makes sure that with the villain, you feel her at first. You feel her plight. But then you’re like, ‘Wow! She’s cuckoo for cocoa puffs!’ And then you’re against her, too. That’s a fine line to walk as a villain, to be a likeable villain. But villains to me are really fun to play,” says Vivica.
We might not be psycho cake wreckers, but who hasn’t struggled, like Mandy, to let love go? “I’ve held onto relationships for years, to be very honest. I kept trying to prove that I could make it work. We have a tendency to do that. If there’s a bad break-up, we have a tendency – especially as women – to try and fix it. Oh, we’ll give him another chance and we’ll put the blame upon ourselves. I’ve been guilty of that before. I finally had to look in the mirror and be honest with myself and say, ‘Honey, it’s just not going to work, and it’s okay. Move on, please.’” That’s exactly what Vivica would tell Mandy. “Girl, move on! Get over it. Brad is not coming back. Move on, Mandy, please! And stop massacring cakes!”
Miss Jones on the case
One of Vivica’s great pleasures in making the Wrong movies is that she gets to cast herself in any sort of role she fancies – stuff that Hollywood has never once offered her as an actress. If she wants to be a villain, she can be.
In The Wrong Wedding Planner, though, she’s the law. Detective Jones is Vivica’s chance to play the cop on the case who pieces it all together and realises what Mandy – and the groom-to-be, Brad (Steve Richard Harris) – are hiding.
“The detective thinks that Mandy is crazy. At first, she doesn’t believe the bride. She’s like, ‘Maybe you’re kind of overreacting a little bit. Maybe you’re having the wedding jitters. Are you sure this is really going down? So she has her doubts about the bride and thinks the bride [Ashley, played by Yan-Kay Crystal Lowe] is nervous or about to turn into a Bridezilla. Come to find out, that was the ex-girlfriend. And that the future husband is keeping a little secret from the bride-to-be. Uncovering those secrets and piecing everything together was a really fun adventure,” says Vivica.
Considering the kind of secret Brad has been keeping, Detective Jones should probably book him and dump him in relationship jail! Vivica laughs: “Absolutely! He kept that secret and he knew – especially when he walked in the first time and she [Mandy] was like, ‘Well, hello,’” Vivica says in her best crazy-sexy tones. “He was like a deer caught in the headlights.” Brad’s major sin is not coming clean – and going so far as to let Ashley think she’s imagining things when Mandy acts strangely, “Just like a guy would do,” Vivica observes. “You could have just told me!”
Every day I’m hustling
Vivica tries to do a Wrong film every 45 days. “We just finished one last week, The Wrong Prince Charming. We did a Christmas film right before that one, and coming up in about a month we’re going to do another one. We try to do about five to six films a year of the Wrong Franchise, and a Christmas movie. We do them one at a time. David will say, ‘Hey, I’ve got another one for us. They send me the script and we start breaking down the script, then we start casting, get locations, and then from there we get rockin’ and rollin’. We usually film them in seven to 10 days.”
“Believe it or not, 2020 has been the busiest year that I’ve had in a long time. I only shut down for about the first 45 days in America, when they shut everything down. Then we started doing small productions, where everyone got COVID-tested. It was small sets and small crews. I also have a new show I do every Monday called Cocktails With Queens, and I have a podcast show, Hustling With Vivica A. Fox, I’ve done several films, my Vivica A Fox hair collection is doing amazing. We’ve been renewed 4 more years. I’ve been busier than ever. I’ve sold the house, I’ve moved into a new house… But I do know that 2020 has been a rough year for a lot of people, and I have been praying for everyone so we can somewhat get back to normal soon. I’m just asking for everyone to know that COVID is very real and to wear your mask, sanitise your hands, maintain our distance and all that kind of stuff. It’s up to everyone to be safe and be aware,” pleads Vivica.
The Wrong Actress
Before we said goodbye to Vivica, we asked her what story she’d tell in Vivica A. Fox: The Wrong Actress. “I’d have an actress who was jealous of another actress because that actress kept getting the parts that she thought she was right for. And to sabotage her, she’d maybe get a smaller part or be her stand-in or something like that, and maybe she’d tie her up at home and show up and try and do the role… and be awful at it, because she’s The Wrong Actress,” Vivica laughs.
Watch The Wrong Wedding Planner on Saturday, 7 November on Lifetime (DStv 131) at 19:20
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