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Kimberly Elise Talks Role In New Western 'Hannah's Law' + Compares VH1's 'Bounce' To 'Black Swan'

by Tambay A. Obenson
May 31, 2012 5:08 PM
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Time flies... The Hallmark Movie Channel original movie we told you about last October, with Danny Glover and Kimberly Elise co-starring, will premiere on SaturdayJune 9 at 8PM ET/PT.

Announced by the network today at the Winter 2012 Television Critics Association Press Tour, Hannah's Law (as the original movie is called) stars Sara Canning, Billy Zane, Ryan Kennedy and Greyston Holt in a film set in a frontier town filled with crime and corruption, until Hannah (Canning), described as "a strong-willed heroine," and her friends, including Wyatt Earp (Holt) and Doc Holliday (Kennedy) take a stand for justice, as she tries to track down the McMurphy gang, which brutally murdered her parents and young brother.

It all ends in a dramatic showdown where a powerful secret is revealed about her family that will suddenly alter her lifelong course for revenge.

Any guesses what that powerful secret might be? Maybe they were slave owners.

Danny Glover will play Isom Dart, a father figure to Hannah; and Kimberly Elise will play Hannah's BBF, the first female, African American mail carrier, Mary Fields, aka Stagecoach Mary.

A trailer for the TV movie has surfaced, and its embedded below.

Underneath that is a very recent interview with Kimberly Elise in which she talks about her role in the movie, what to expect from it, and she also gives some new details on the new VH1 scripted series she signed up for earlier this year, titled Bounce.

VH1 greenlit the series (no, not another reality TV show), ordering a pilot for what has been deemed a "professional basketball dancers" drama.

The new project will star the woefully under-rated and under-used Elise, newcomer Taylour Paige, and Dean Cain.

Sanaa Hamri will direct the pilot episode of a series that will focus on the lives and loves of a team of professional basketball dancers.

At its heart is Ahsha (Paige), a sheltered young woman who joins the squad against the wishes of her mother Sloane (Elise), who knows this treacherous, tempting world all too well having been a dancer herself.

Dean Cain will play the coach of the basketball team.

In the below interview, Elise says that the pilot has indeed been shot, but no word yet on whether VH1 will pick it up as a series.

When the interviewer suggests that Bounce may be more like one of VH1's reality TV series, specifically Basketball Wives, Kimberly quickly dimisses that idea (can't blame her), and instead says that it's more like Black Swan, the dark, fantastical, Oscar-winning film (Best Actress for Natalie Portman) directed by Darren Aronofsky

She later clarifies that it's not as dark as Black Swan, but that it's similar in the sense that it gives the audience a glimpse at what goes on behind-the-scenes, the mechanics of it all, with the cast of pro dancers that make up the show; and also that it IS indeed a scripted series, not a reality TV show, as she clarifies with the interviewer.

But overall, she seems really excited about it.

Bounce follows the Queen Latifah-produced Single Ladies, also an hour-long original, scripted series, with black women in prime roles.

Alright... first, here's the preview for Hannah's Law; and underneath that, you'll find the interview in which she talks about Hannah's Law, as well as Bounce:

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  • JMac | May 31, 2012 11:16 PMReply

    I've seen the trailers on tv but Kimberly wasn't in any of them. Until I came here, I forgot she was supposed to be in this film.

  • Erich Hicks | May 31, 2012 8:24 PMReply

    The real ‘Stagecoach Mary’ story:

    Mary Fields, Black Mary, and ‘Stagecoach Mary’ are all one of the same person. Mary was born in 1832, a slave in Arkansas and was owned by a Catholic family; the plantation owner had a single girl child the same age as Mary. Mary’s mother was the House Slave Servant and the plantation owners’ favorite cook; therefore Mary was always in the main house, in the kitchen and not in the fields, as a Field Slave. Mary’s father was a Field Slave, and Field Slaves were not allowed in the Main House, much less, to court a House Slave. Mary’s mother became pregnant by Mary’s father and he was beaten and sold to another plantation for getting Mary’s mother pregnant. After Mary’s birth, Mary’s mother and her were allowed to stay in the main house, and Mary became the plantation owner daughters’ playmate, therefore being the owners daughter’s playmate, Mary was allowed to read and write, a rarity for that time.

    After the emancipation and coming into adulthood, Mary was 6 feet tall and weighed over 200 pounds. Mary became her own woman and traveled solely from Arkansas, up and down the Mississippi River, to Ohio, then finally to Montana where she got her nickname at the turn of the 20th Century. She earned this nickname by working for the “United States Postal System” delivering the United States Mail through adverse conditions that would have discouraged the most hardened frontiersmen of her time. All by herself, she never missed a day for 8 years, carrying the U. S. Mail and other important documents that helped settle the wild open territory of central west Montana.

    Mary had no fear of man, nor beast, and this sometimes got her into trouble. She delivered the mail regardless of the heat of the day, cold of night, wind, rain, sleet, snow, blizzards, Indians and Outlaws.

    Mary was a cigar smoking, shotgun and pistol toting Negro Woman, who even frequented saloons drinking whiskey with the men, a privilege only given to her, as a woman. However, not even this fact, sealed Mary's credentials given to her, her credentials boasted that, “She would knockout any man with one punch”, a claim which she proved true.

    Her fame was so acclaimed, even the Actor, Gary Cooper, two time Academy Award Winner, told a story about her in 1959 which appeared in Ebony Magazine that same year. While, Annie Oakley and Martha Canary (Calamity Jane) were creating their history with Buffalo Bill, Stagecoach Mary was making “her Epic Journey!”

    Despite Mary's hardness, she had another side of her, a kindness so strong, even today, in the beginning of the 21st Century, the town of Cascade, Montana, and other surrounding communities celebrate her birthday. The Epic movie is in pre-production mode. Check out website at

  • B | June 1, 2012 1:35 AM

    Thank you for this information! I love learning more about black women in history. And, as a black woman from Arkansas (born and raised), I couldn't be more proud of this woman and also ashamed that I'd never heard of her. Thank you!

  • Micah | May 31, 2012 11:07 PM

    I'm glad there still so people that know about African American exploits and accomplishments in the Old West. Some people assume it's revisionist history when it's really just restored history.

  • Gary C. | May 31, 2012 8:03 PMReply

    I looooove Westerns but I immediately lost interest at Hallmark Movie Channel.

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