BET’s got a spicy new film for you to check out just in time for your (looming, quite possible, more than likely) quarantine needs. OPEN is a romantic drama written and directed by Cas Sigers-Beedles that showcases the alternative perspective of open relationships. Airing this Saturday, March 14, OPEN details the story of Wren and Cam, an attractive couple who make the decision to open their marriage. Wren, ever the doting wife, just wants to make things work and after noticing the infidelities in the world, she suggests an open marriage to avoid the pain of Cam creepin’ behind her back. Things are of course, not that simple and things escalate into much more than Wren ever could’ve imagined.
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My latest film “Open” premieres on @bet and @bethertv Saturday March 14th at 8pm EST. A compelling and complicated story written and directed by @cassigers about love, marriage and commitment; which, as it turns out, are not mutually exclusive. I’m super proud of this project not just as it’s leading lady but also as one of the producers. God is doing a new thing and I am so grateful to be on this journey with friends. Isaiah 43:19 @ninaholidayent @terrijvaughn @keithsings @mattcedeno @iamjasmineguy @celihangout
Essence was so engrossed in the film that she consulted with a successful black couple in a 10-year open marriage to successfully bring Wren to life. According to the actress, Wren tugged at her heartstrings because she saw her desperation. Instead of Wren’s husband Cam suggesting that they open their marriage up to other partners, it was actually Wren’s decision.
“I read the script and I just started crying because I really empathized with Wren and making these decisions because one of the things that will surprise people is that it’s Wren’s decision she’s the one who brings it to the table after eight years of being married to Cam. I understood her reasons behind it, I understood the brokenness that dictated this rationale.”
Keith echoed Essence’s sentiments and agreed that seeing Wren take the lead about opening her marriage drew him to the project. He also added that it was clear that his character Cam struggled through it and viewers will get to see him plagued by a skeleton in his closet in a purple dress.
“Wren, the wife is who proposed this whole open thing, not the man which is what you might expect,” said Robinson. “I was glad that I’m not in that situation but I feel like he’s [Cam] every man trying to navigate his way through this crazy proposal. The purple dress was kind of representative of you trying to bury some things that happened prior to and you wanna move past. I feel like he was trying to swim in an ocean that was really rocky and wavy and a little deep for him. It was fun to play as a character.”
Keith also added that he appreciated how Cas Sigers’ project brought a taboo topic discussed amongst friends to the forefront.
“I thought the script was a discussion that’s always been had amongst our friends and this let the cat out of the bag and addressed the elephant in the room,” echoed Keith Robinson.”I think it’s a very timely project and Cas [Sigers] approached the subject with a lot of gravity and empathy, it wasn’t a freak session. It was more of two people struggling to try to find the energy to keep their relationship alive.”
Overall the BET movie is set to spark a discussion and Essence couldn’t be more excited about it. She told BOSSIP that this project, in particular, can be a catalyst for convos on all things intimacy.
“That was precisely why I think both of us said ‘Yes’, I wanted to see this movie produced because I was interested in the conversation,” said Essence. “Sometimes we do projects that are simply to be for entertainment value and escapism but we also get to do projects as artists that we think are going to be thought-provoking and bring discussions like this.
Ultimately what I hope si that it’s not about promoting any kind of agenda but what it is about is hoping to elicit conversations where people are having conversations about what it is they need and what it is they require but also what it is they fear and how to feel safe,” she added. “To me, that’s really the definition of intimacy. You can have sex with somebody and never be intimate with them.”
In addition to chatting with BOSSIP Essence and Keith attended the premiere screening of OPEN at Atlanta’s AMC Parkway Pointe. They were joined by Cas Sigers Beedles herself, as well as their costars Jasmine Guy, Nisey woods, Marquitta Goings and Jared Wofford.
OPEN aris Saturday, March 14, 2020 at 8 PM ET/PT on BET & BET HER—will YOU be watching???
OPEN was written and directed by Cas Sigers Beedles, produced by Essence Atkins, Melissa Young, and Kirk Frasier. Serving as executive producers are Terri J. Vaughn and Cas Sigers-Beedles (for Nina Holiday Entertainment), Richelle Cross (for Class & Sass Productions) and Roger Bobb.