BET’s Executive Producer Explains What To Expect With The Bobby Brown Story (Video)
Jesse Collins is a television-industry veteran whose eponymous production company is responsible for several acclaimed BET programs including the network’s Hip Hop Awards. He also features prominently in the production credits for the network’s juggernaut 2017 biopic miniseries The New Edition Story, the historic nature of which led to his being named executive producer of BET’s forthcoming The Bobby Brown Story. The project picks up where the New Edition story left off, following Brown as he pursues his own juggernaut success as a solo artist. The biopic will also follow closely his personal trials and document the R&B icon’s struggles with tremendous loss in his family and career, according to Collins and Bobby Brown’s testimonies.
In speaking with AllHipHopTV, Collins suggests that fans will not be disappointed in the breadth of The Bobby Brown Story‘s approach to the subject’s life. Calling Bobby Brown “greatly misunderstood by everyone,” Collins says “in this movie, you’re going to find out the most important question, which is ‘why?’ Why [have] so many tragedies happened in his life?” However, the film is underscored with a message of triumph, as it ultimately tells the story of how one man was able to battle serious drug addiction, the death of his former wife Whitney Houston and the death of his daughter, Bobbi Kristina. “You really will gain a deeper understanding of who Bobby Brown is,” he promises. “It goes very deep into the heart of Bobby Brown.”
When asked how the film compares to The New Edition Story, Collins remarks on the obvious: this time, he’s telling the story of one man versus six, so deep dives were not as easy to pursue. As it pertains to Bobby Brown, he says, “we’re showing you stuff that Bobby never thought he would actually share with people. It’s what we had to do to make this movie interesting.”
Highlights of the film-making process, for Collins, include a shot-for-shot remake of Brown’s 1988 “My Prerogative” video, recreating Brown’s wedding to Houston and elements from his reality show. What he’s most excited for, though, is “the stuff that nobody knows, [like] the conversation with Bobby and Whitney after the Dianne Sawyer interview and how that affected their relationship,” he says. Also, he says he’s looking forward to delving into how Brown and Houston’s relationship started, beyond their fateful Soul Train appearance. “We’re gonna show their connection was based on her poking him in the back. There was something else that happened that night that drew them together.”
Bobby Brown also spoke with AHHTV. The entertainer states that the mini-series will be authentic, and pulls from things that his book (Every Little Step: My Story) did not address. “I think all of the scenes that we’ve shot so far are great. I’m most of all looking to [reenacting] the good times, other than just the bad times. That’s where I think I’m gonna really appreciate the work that these actors are doing.”
Bobby details the framework. “It starts pretty early [in my life]. It’s gonna go into the times [when] I was put out of New Edition to the times I was married to Whitney Houston, then it’s gonna go to my life right now,” he says, before going into his current marriage.
Brown also states his “Top 5 dead or alive” MCs: Eminem, Rakim, Kool G Rap, KRS-One, and himself.
The Bobby Brown Story stars Woody McClain in the title role, while actors including Mekhi Phifer, Lance Gross, Laz Alonso and more will round out the cast. The original BET film is slated for a premiere this September.