Under Jeff Byrd’s direction the audience is taken on the spiritual journey of Andre’ Stephens, a self centered, womanizing, hip hop icon. Best friend Chris Scott, wonderfully played by Robert Ri’chard, serves as the voice of reason that falls upon death ears until a very unfortunate event ushers in the option for a change of fate. Deitrick Haddon and Allison Elizabeth’s script gives Haddon full range of his dramatic and musical gifts, while laying the foundation for his character’s underlying call to minister.
Director Jeff Byrd, who has already set his mark in films like King’s Ransom, Truth Be Told and Seventeen Again, makes a unique reference to why he is certain that “A Beautiful Soul” is a box office draw.
Jeff Byrd to EURweb: “I like to call it my gospel Purple Rain. It has a very secular feel but with a very inspirational undertone and it’s set in the Christian world. It encompasses all those different things and to all those different people. Anybody can see this. It’s a film that’s open to the masses.”
John Salley and Bishop Noel Jones make cameos in “A Beautiful Soul” while Harry Lennix gives his usual rock solid performance as the smooth, yet forceful Jeff Freeze who is Andre’ Stephens’ manager. It’s worth the cost of the ticket price just to see Lennix in action once more. Then there is the stand out performance of Golden Brooks, who emits a sincere, moving and very believable performance as Andre’s mother. Vanessa Bell Calloway is just as refreshing as she is beautiful when she makes an ‘angelic’ cameo in the film. The vets are obvious here and make for a nice balance among the newcomers.
A full range of producer’s credits include Felicia Henderson, Holly Carter and Dominique Telson, but Bryant T. Scott of Tyscot Records is the cornerstone of this great venture, which began with him signing Detrick Haddon to his label back in 1995.
Bryant T. Scott to EURweb: “About four years ago Detrick came to me and said, instead of giving me money to do a music video, he said how about giving me money to make a movie and so we did. We came out with Blessed and Cursed and it went straight to DVD as well as Showtime, The Gospel Movie Channel and Net Flix. We were like, ‘Wow this movie thing is good!’ This is our second movie with him and then we were excited to find out that AMC Theaters were interested in it.”
As a result of the due diligence of Tyscot Records, Feather Films and Manhaddon Productions, “A Beautiful Soul” opens today (May 4, 2012) on twenty screens in ten markets: Los Angeles, Burbank, Detroit, Chicago, New York, New Jersey, Washington, D.C., Virginia, Indianapolis, Dallas and Philadelphia.