WATCH THIS! Yaani King in Deliverance Creek – Exclusive Interview!By Delaina Dixon | September 12, 2014 | Entertainment
Romance writer Nicholas Sparks‘ new TV production Deliverance Creek, premiering on Lifetime Saturday night, chronicles the life of a single mother trying to keep her family and land in check at the tail end of the Civil War. That’s already a heavy theme. Now add the fact that slavery was alive and well during that time and you’ve increased it exponentially. Luckily, enslaved mistress Kessie, played by Yaani King, is a smart woman so determined to secure her freedom and that of her family, she goes through drastic (and deliciously devious) measures to make it happen.
TV DivaGal talked with Yaani — you may know her from Black& Sexy.tv‘s roomieloverfriends — about the movie’s portrayal of slavery life, its unexpected ending and the favorite items in her 2014 wardrobe.
Deliverance Creek displays life during slavery times, and it isnΓÇÖt pretty. How did you research for the role?
I did quite a bit of reading. I wanted to find articles and essays written by slaves to get a better perspective of what was happening in their point of view. Certain stories I found were absolutely horrific, which I expected. But some were inspired and were really sweet of people connecting. In a time that was so terrible for all of humanity, there were people who found ways to survive and love.
Kessie is as smart as a whip! How did you develop your character?
Unlike most TV projects, we had a week just to rehearse without cameras, and our director Jon Amiel tasked us with coming up with our backstory. I journaled as her and kind of lived as her and asked myself what would it be like if these were my circumstances. Of all the painful things she has been through and she is going through, she knows the consequence of showing her vulnerability and pain. There’s also a sense of urgency in that time for any slave trying to secure his or her freedom. You don’t have time to be sentimental, and it’s an unfortunate reality. I did some work understanding what it was like to have those feelings so close to the surface, but not being able to show them.
The end of the movie leaves a lot of unanswered questions. Is there going to be part two?
That is the goal. If we get the word out, and if we get the numbers and the eyeballs and ratings, this will be a series. The hope is that we get people watching and wanting to see more, and we’ll give you more.
Tell me about your modern day wardrobe!
I am a very simple t-shirt and jeans kind of girl. I love a shoe. I live for wedges. I have these simple brown zip-up sandals … I throw them on and it can turns jeans into a fun night outfit. I like to turn day into night. If I’m hanging out in the day and a have a friend’s birthday dinner that evening, I think about what can I wear that will carry me through it all ΓÇô maybe a different eye and lip and throw on earrings and a heel. I love color like yellow and oranges, and pattern, like a fun Aztec or African print with black pants. I love my dark skin so I like to highlight that in anyway that I can!
Do you have a favorite store or designer to complement your style?
I have a lot of vintage pieces from mom and my aunts. I’m not above going to Goodwill and finding some funky stuff to play. My friend Melody Ehsani is a jewelry designer who makes huge statement pieces that do a lot of the work on their own. Then I can afford to downplay the outfit. One designer that I love is Nakimuli. She does really beautiful work. There are these really great summer balloon shorts that she’s got with prints and yellow and orange. I can’t ask for anything more!
Catch Yaani in Deliverance Creek, Saturday, Sept. 13 at 8 p.m. on Lifetime.
photo credit: Lifetime