Lifetime has released the trailer for Wendy Williams: The Movie, a biopic documenting the life and career of the controversial talk show host. Ciera Payton (The Oval) portrays Williams in the movie, although the real-life Williams is serving as an executive producer for the project. This week on The Wendy Williams Show, Williams revealed our first look at the TV movie by playing the trailer for the Lifetime Original. You can watch it in the tweet below.
“It’s your girl Wendy Williams on the mic,” Payton says in character at the start of the trailer. “I am here to stay. Wendy Williams is not going anywhere. I’m going to come in like a hurricane.”
An authorized biopic, Wendy Williams: The Movie will delve into both the highs and lows of Wendy’s career, starting with her days in radio leading to her eventual success as a daytime television star. It’s evident from the trailer that some of Williams’ well-known controversies will be addressed in the movie, including a reenactment of her fainting spell on camera while dressed as the Statue of Liberty. “You’re self-indulgent, you’re narcissistic, you got a coke habit,” Williams is also told in the trailer.
This year alone, Williams had made headlines multiple times for various controversies. In January, she was criticized for mocking Joker star Joaquin Phoenix and later apologized on her show. One month later, she was back in the news for joking about the murder of Drew Carey’s ex-fiance. She has also apologized for remarks made on her show after she was accused of homophobia and transphobia.
Along with Payton, the TV movie also stars Morocco Omari as ex-husband Kevin Hunter and Liza Huget and Rothaford Gray as Wendy’s parents. Darren Grant directs using a screenplay by Leigh Davenport and Scarlett Lacey. Executive producing alongside Williams are Sheila Ducksworth and Will Packer. Charles Cooper also produced the project.
On The Wendy Williams Show, Wendy also spoke with Grant about Payton’s performance in the biopic. “She looks and acts so much like me, like, she got it,” Williams gushed. Additionally, Grant touched on why he wanted to take on the project as a director, as he has been a fan of Williams for many years.
“I was part of that whole ’90s movement, and that’s partly why I was such a big fan of the project,” Grant said. “I remember you on the radio playing all of the songs of the videos I was doing. So, when they brought me this project, I was like, I know that culture. This is exciting to me because that’s the Wendy that a lot of people don’t know, and that’s the Wendy that I remember, so I was like, I’ve got to be part of this.”
Wendy Williams: The Movie will premiere at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 30 on Lifetime. Immediately after the premiere, the network will air a feature-length documentary about Williams featuring candid interviews with Wendy about her private life and professional career. On her show, Williams said she has seen the documentary but is holding off to watch the biopic. This news comes to us from The Wendy Williams Show.