Keke Palmer broke into the entertainment industry as a singer and child actor, best known for her role in Akeelah and the Bee and her lead role on Nickelodeon sitcom, True Jackson, VP. Over the years, Palmer was typecast and continued to land similar “children based stuff,” but the star says her new movie has helped her shed those childish layers and move on to more adult roles, according to The Wrap.
In the film, Palmer plays Wednesday, a female pimp who grows up learning the business from her father. After her father leaves, Wednesday is left to fend for herself while taking care of her prostitute mother and her girlfriend, Nikki. Wednesday becomes desperate to make a better life for herself and the women who work for her, so she tries to recruit a popular stripper named Destiny, who could bring in more clients. Things don’t go as planned when she discovers Destiny is already entangled with a dangerous male pimp, but Wednesday will stop at nothing to protect those she loves.
The film takes place in the gritty streets of Bronx and offers a role Palmer has never tackled before.
“As a kid, you’re what other people want you to be and you don’t even realize it. You’re just being a kid. You’re presented with these options and you go with one of them. I got to a point where I recognized this isn’t who I am, this no longer fits me,” the 25-year-old told Vibe.
Palmer landed the role at 19-years-old and said it took an enormous amount of inner work to channel the character of Wednesday.
“I did a lot of research within myself because I knew I would have to go very deep in order to take on such a role like this. I would have to face a lot of my dark truths to be able to reach that point of understanding and having empathy for this life that Wednesday had no choice but to be in,” she said.
The film was written and directed by Christine Crokos and was executive produced by Lee Daniels, who has been creatively linked to projects like Empire, Star, and Academy Award nominated-film, Precious.
Despite the star-studded cast and crew, the movie has still received quite a bit of backlash. The New York Times claims the film is filled with outdated stereotypes and foul language that does very little to tell a convincing story.