Director Russ Parr and actress Jill Marie Jones weigh in on a film, which covers hot relationship topics.
35 & Ticking, stars an all-star ensemble cast with Nicole Ari Parker, Tamala Jones, Kevin Hart, Keith Robinson, Jill Marie Jones, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Meagan Good, Mike Epps and more.
The film centers around the lives of Victoria, Zenobia, Clevon, and Phil — all friends approaching the age of 35 and struggling to build the families they’ve always dreamed of. While Zenobia (Parker, Soul Food, Brown Sugar) is still looking for a man, Victoria (Jones, “Castle,” “One on One”) is married to a man who doesn’t want children. Clevon (comic Hart, Not Easily Broken, 40 Year-Old Virgin), meanwhile, is too geeky to get a woman, and Phil (Keith Robinson, Dreamgirls) is already married with children, but his wife is not very interested in being a mother. All four of them try to rectify their romantic lives and futures while their biological clocks tick away.
After successful screenings in Washington, DC, and a West Coast, red-carpet premiere at Pan African Film Festival, Image Entertainment in conjunction with Swirl Films and Up To Parr Productions is releasing 35 & Ticking in theatres in key cities throughout the United States. “As a filmmaker, it is very gratifying to have an idea in your head and watch it unfold in front of the camera with a talented cast and crew,” said Parr. “I’m really excited to see this project on the big screen, especially when so few Black films are being made in Hollywood.” Parr added, “It’s so important that the community support not only my film but all the independent Black filmmakers who are trying to tell great stories, which truly reflect our slice of life as African-American people.”
Russ Parr has made the transition from on-air personality to independent film director.
HHW: Was the film always called 35 And Ticking?
RUSS PARR: Yes, I actually wrote the film three years ago. I had seen more and more friends making this leap so I decided to do the thing.
How do people like it?
They love it; they thought it was very creative. What I was getting from a lot of people is that it is so accurate. It’s not so over the top; it’s what happens in real relationships. People can relate to this film.
Which gender will enjoy this film the most?
Both. I’ve screened this movie and at one screening a guy said he was going home to divorce his wife. He said, “That was me up there.” He started crying. I was taken aback. I am hoping he can work through it. A lot of men are suffering. I’m not touching on the regular everyday stuff that you see.
But we do need different images on the screen. I think I did a pretty good job.
HHW: What was it like being a part of this film?
JILL MARIE JONES: I’m so proud of this movie…I remember when he (Russ Parr) sent me the script and said, “Read the script and let me know what you think.” I called him back and I said, “Hey, it’s for me. I love Coco,” and he was shocked because Coco is the character he wanted me to play, but he was afraid to ask me because she isn’t the most liked person in the film.
35 And Ticking speaks to women who are having relationship problems. How do you feel about this serious issue?
I always say, “How far is your search?” If he has to be a certain race, living in your city, making a certain amount of money, having a certain amount of kids then the search becomes smaller. As people, we need to look at that.
Russ says he has got compliments on the film.
He really did his thing. As an actor we wouldn’t have anything without the provider. We were doing our art and I felt so at home; he’s an actor’s director.
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