Growing up in the ’90s, you became familiar with Marques Houston pretty quickly. He was everywhere. He was on our radios singing with fellow band mates of Immature. In 1992, Houston landed his first movie role as the voice of Khalil in Bébé’s Kids. If you watched television, Marques captured your heart as Roger on “Sister, Sister.” His music catalog and acting portfolio has grown over the last 20-plus years.
Not surprisingly, Marques has begun yet another project and adds another notch on his belt as movie producer. Houston penned the script for Will to Love along with writing partners Chris Stokes and Chaz Echols. The trio has also started a new production company, Footage Films.
Will to Love is about a young man who is set to inherit his family’s business. However, this proves to be no easy feat. He must first comply with the stipulations of his grandfather’s will. The movie is directed by Chris Stokes and stars Houston, Keshia Knight Pulliam, and Draya Michele.
Rolling out had the chance to speak with Houston regarding this project. Check out his interview below.
Please share how you came up with the concept to do Will to Love. How did you get Keshia and Draya involved?
Well, after coming up with the concept, myself along with Chad Echols and Chris Stokes, we all wrote it together. It started as just an idea. We wanted to do something that was original and that was very, very charismatic. You know, a movie that could be something that could make you laugh and cry at the same time. We wanted to come up with a love story because we started a new production company called Footage Films. I felt like it was important for our first movie to be something that was feel good. Like a feel good story, something that people could watch that the whole family can enjoy together.
I actually worked with Keshia on a project a few years ago that we did together. Me and Keshia have been friends for quite some time. I just reached out to Keshia. I was like, “Hey! I’m writing and producing movies now. I would love to work together again.”
She was like, “Cool let’s do it. Send me the script and I’m down.”
Draya, as well, is a friend of mine. I reached out to Draya [saying,] “I got this project and I have you in mind for this character. How do you feel about acting?” [Because she’s never acted before.] She was like, “Yeah, I’m down.”
So Draya and Keshia are two friends of mine and we just made it happen.
How did you come up with the title?
We had a few working titles. We came up with the title while throwing around some names. A couple things that we had and I forgot who hit it on the nose but when we hit the title Will to Love, we knew once we came up with that title that it was perfect. It says everything about the movie. It’s a play on words with “will.”
There are limited opportunities for African Americans in Hollywood. Why was it important for you to transition from being in front of the camera to working behind the camera, as well?
It is important for me even working with a new film company to give not only African Americans, but a lot of minorities out there that don’t have the opportunity to break into Hollywood. For me, God blessed me with a huge opportunity to be in the business. And everybody doesn’t get the same opportunities. I feel like with opportunity we can go so much further. With my film company, I feel like putting the new talent and the newcomers in the position to be able to shine and be able to show their talent; it is really important me. I think this film company is really important.
What are some other projects you are working on?
I just finished shooting a film, a romantic comedy that’s set to come out in theaters early next year with Karrueche Tran. I’m really excited about that one! I also just finished a new album. I’m really excited about that! I have other projects down the line that I’m just the producer and writer on. I won’t be in them. All the movies that I’m doing, I won’t be in, of course. I felt like it was a good way to start it off with the first couple. I wanted to be in it. I’m going to be in my movies. If I have the choice and the power to put myself in a movie, like Tyler Perry, I’m going to do that.
What else should we know about Will to Love?
I want everyone to go out and support it. Go to Wal-Mart and get your copy of Will to Love today. It’s online on iTunes and Amazon. It’s out in stores and online today. I hope everybody can take from this film and walk away from it feeling good. And feeling like, “Hey, you know what, I like that movie. I would want to see another one that Marques Houston is producing or that he’s a part of. That would just be a blessing for me.” That it makes everybody feel good. That they understand that love is the key to life. That’s really what I want to tell everybody. Just love, love, love.
Follow Houston on Twitter and Instagram @MarquesHouston