Principal photography begins this month in New Orleans on the Lifetime original movie Life Is Not A Fairy Tale: The Fantasia Barrino Story
, (working title). The telefilm is inspired by the true story of Fantasia Barrino
, a teenage single mother who overcame poverty, sexual abuse and illiteracy by using her incredible voice to rise to national prominence as the winner of American Idol
. Fantasia will grace the title role, playing herself in the movie.
Prolific actress Loretta Devine
has been cast as Fantasia’s grandmother, Addie Collins and Viola Davis
stars as Fantasia’s mother, Diane Barrino. Rounding out the ensemble cast are Kadeem Hardison
in the role of Fantasia’s father, JoJo Barrino and newcomer Jamia Simone Nash who plays the young Fantasia. Debbie Allen
will direct the film, bringing her boundless experience from in front and behind the stage and screen to this movie.
The film is set to premiere this August on Lifetime.
“Fantasia made America fall in love with her through her astounding voice, but few people knew the obstacles she overcame to get where she is now,” said Trevor Walton, Senior Vice President, Lifetime Original Movies. “She openly shares her inspirational story, and audiences will see that she is not only a phenomenal singer, but also an impressive actress.” Walton continues, “Lead by the multi-talented director Debbie Allen, actors Loretta Devine, Viola Davis and Kadeem Hardison are perfect matches in bringing Fantasia’s story to life.”
Before she ever captured the hearts and votes of millions to become the winner of American Idol
, Fantasia Barrino had little to celebrate in her life. As the youngest child of Diane and JoJo Barrino, Fantasia experienced a complicated childhood, low self-esteem and eventually dropped out of school in her early teens. With little education, money or chance of a real future, Fantasia found herself in a loveless, abusive relationship that left her pregnant at sixteen with no one to turn to for help.
The birth of her daughter Zion was the catalyst for Fantasia to rethink her choices and redirect her life. With the encouragement of friends and family, Fantasia took a leap of faith to audition for the hot television show American Idol
and quickly won over the judges and audiences with her sassy style and extraordinary voice. Her powerful singing made her an instant sensation and changed her life forever.