draya_marques

*Draya Michele is moving on up from the small screen to the big screen.

The former reality TV star landed a role opposite Marques Houston in the urban romantic comedy “Will to Love.”

Marques plays Jamal Hawkins, a rich bachelor who finds himself in search of a wife in order to meet the stipulations in his grandfather’s will. Draya plays a character called Candice Koleto in her acting debut, which finds her co-starring alongside Keshia Knight Pulliam, who plays Rachel Paris. Both ladies are the love interests of Houston, who co-wrote the film along with Chaz Echols and music producer/manager Chris Stokes. Chris also directed the project.

Rolling Out caught up with Draya to talk about her foray into acting, below are highlights from their chat.

Draya Michele

Marques Houston as Jamal Hawkins and Draya Michele as Candice Koleto in “Will to Love” – (Photo credit: Footage Films)

Tell us about your experience working on Will to Love.

Draya: It was fun. I got a call from Marcus saying he wanted me to read over the script and see if it was something I was interested in. I read the script and I thought it was just a funny story and I wanted to be a part of it. I instantly feel in love with this character, Candice. I told him, this is me! I want to play this part. I can do this, so just trust me.

You play Candice Koleto, what is the character’s backstory?

Draya: Candice is just a girl who is not really who she says she is. She was kind of hired by someone to manipulate this man into falling in love with her and marrying her for the wrong reasons.

How do you think this role has set you up for your future professionally?

Draya: I think it lets people know that I actually can act. It was very natural. I feel like I seemed natural. Also, it helped me by being on set and learning the camera angles. You know how many takes you have to do. I feel like now when I read scripts, since I know how a movie is shot, now I can read scripts better. I do auditions better. I just have an overall better confidence about myself.

The Draya Michele brand has really grown over the years; what do you have going on?

Draya: Yes, I have a swimsuit line called Mint Swim that I’ve been running for four-year and I do everything with that business myself. I design everything. I don’t have any partners or design teams. I am very hands-on. Then I have another brand called Fine Ass Girls, which is for younger girls. It’s actually like an urban street wear. That’s a really fun job that I get to work on and I get to make clothes for younger girls. There are a couple of things I have in the works. I can’t really discuss them right now because they’re in the works.

You can read Draya’s full interview here. The film debuted over the summer on TV One, no doubt you can watch it on your favorite streaming service, Google it. Peep the trailer below.