Tequan Richmond and Rayven Ferrell Talk Toxic Love and Mental Health as Stars of TV One Thriller, BLOOD ON HER BADGE (Exclusive Interview)
What you won’t do, do for love
You’ve tried everything but you don’t give up
In my world only you
Make me do for love what I would not do.
~song “What You Won’t Do for Love” by Bobby Caldwell (TK Records & Cloud Records)
How many times have you said you’d do anything for the one you love? Yes, love can be blind, but with the wrong combination, it could also be dangerous.
TV One’s newest suspense-drama film BLOOD ON HER BADGE explores the topic of toxic love relationships, the impacts they have on mental and emotional health, and its potential consequences.
Premiering Monday, November 16, 2020, this gripping film is inspired by true crime events and details the journey of an ill-fated romance and stars Rayven Ferrell (The Hate You Give, The Bobby Brown Story) and Tequan Richmond (Boomerang, Everybody Hates Chris). The cast also includes Miguel Nunez (The Family Business, Bronx SUI) Tetona Jackson (Boomerang, All Night), and Johnell Young (Wu-Tang: An American Saga).
BLOOD ON HER BADGE tells a true crime tale of Dee Johnson (Ferrell), a charming and eager young cop. As Dee settles into her new career, she falls for Trey (Richmond) a captivating younger man. Growing up in a troubled home leaves Dee craving love, and when she meets Trey she’ll do anything to keep it.
As life begins to fall into place, Dee begins to make risky decisions that ultimately alter her objectivity. With no real moral grounding, Dee allows herself to be manipulated by her lover, resulting in tragic repercussions.
BLOOD ON HER BADGE was written by Scott Mullen and directed by Kenn Michael with casting by Leah Daniels Butler. The film is produced by The Asylum with Executive Producer David Rimawi, Co-Producer, Paul Bales and Producer David Michael Latt.
I was recently joined by actors Tequan Richmond and Rayven Ferrell to talk about their starring roles in TV One’s upcoming true crime drama, “Blood On Her Badge.” Touching upon the film’s themes, we discussed the dangers of toxic love relationships, its impact on mental health, and more.
We know that 2020 has been an incredibly challenging year for communities across the country, regarding police brutality and social unrest. What compelled you to take on such a difficult role for the film Blood On Her Badge?
I was intrigued by taking on something that I’ve never done before. Something that was more challenging than comfortable. I also think that I had a lot of similar similarities with this character, when I broke it all the way down, a lot of the things that my character [Dee] went through mentally, I shared the same experiences. So, it was cool to portray that on screen.
Regarding your character Tequan, we know that there has been a lot of eyes on the African-American male community this year. Tell me what compelled you to take on this role that you play in the film?
I thought this was the perfect timing for this kind of role, because it shows the relationship between a young black male and the police force. It also shows that we can possibly come to a common understanding at some point. And it also shows all cops definitely aren’t bad cops; and all cops aren’t normally bad cops. There are good cops and there are bad cops, but sometimes cops have to uphold a standard that may be unrealistic. I think as people, we might forget that cops are human beings with flaws and everything as well.
So, I think right now will be the perfect time for us to bound on that and actually show the differences. And maybe through this, we can alleviate some of that fear that stands between young black men and police officers.
Did either of you draw upon anything particular to portray your characters, such as personal experiences or films with similar toxic relationships such as Queen & Slim?
Yeah, actually. I used parts of that [film] and similar ones to study. But also the soundtrack [to Queen & Slim] was great for listening to and getting prepared.
As far as personal experiences, we’ve all had that one bad relationship or relationship that we regret, So if we just think about the overall adjustment of it – you know, being blindly in love and doing whatever you have to do in order to keep person in your life because this person is literally your home and you feel like, ‘okay, if I lose this person, then I don’t even know where I am,’ that experience is something that everyone can relate to, you know?
Yes, absolutely. It’s that codependency and that vulnerability that definitely causes that. And as you said it’s happened to everyone, right. Happens to the best of us where we begin the relationship, where we can easily, but subconsciously, fall into that rabbit hole, if you will, of doing whatever it takes or whatever that person may want of us, because we feel like if I lose them, we’ll lose a part of ourselves. And before you know it, we end up in a mental and emotional space where it feels like there’s a point of no return.
(Courtesy: TV One)
As far as me being a young, black male and dealing with police my entire life, I think my life was pretty much where I drew the most experience and knowledge from. Like I said before, that usual fear – I mean, listen: I’m an actor I don’t need to do anything wrong and for the most part, I don’t do anything wrong – but for some reason, if I’m driving my car down the street and a police officer pulls behind me, there’s a sense of fear there.
And while I do understand why that exists, I don’t understand why [preconceived notions from police] actually exists. However, I believe that drawing from that [experience] and then showing this [film] is a good example of how we as young black men are taught this [fear] from a young age.
When you leave the house, your mom always says, ‘whatever they do, do whatever they ask you to, no backtalk, have all your papers in order.’ And I feel like drawing from this type of thing. It really helped me out with my character Trey.
And in another point, I don’t want to say it’s a big up for us to young black man, but to be able to manipulate the situation and actually win from it – taking the fear and then turning to a power and then using it for our own advantage – it’s something that rarely ever happens. A lot of people don’t get the chance to.
Speaking of which, are there any similar personality traits that you see within your characters?
Dee can be like me sometimes. Dee is very loyal. She is very, very loyal and even though she’s dependent on Trey, I feel like she has her own sense of independence. At the same time, she likes to see the potential in people, and she does not like to just judge a book by its cover.
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Tequan, I know that your character is totally different from how you are, but was there anything in Trey’s personality or the character of Trey that was similar to how you are?
I would say anybody would be dishonest if they said that they’ve never used their charm to manipulate a situation for the betterment of the situation. I think that is my only real similarity to Trey. That Trey used what I call, ‘the charm to disarm’ factor. He charmed [Dee], he disarmed her and he was able to get the things that he wanted.
(Courtesy: TV One)
Also I think with Trey, he just didn’t understand the ramifications of what he was doing and he didn’t know it would go that far. You know, it started off as just, ‘maybe I can get this and maybe I can get that.’ And then it totally spiraled out of control to where it was out of his control as well. So, I feel like if any qualities at all, I got a little charm [laughs]. I mean, that’s about it.
I don’t want to give the movie away, so I’m not going to go too much into the storyline. But Blood on Her Badge explores many themes – one of the main ones being toxic love and mental, physical, and emotional abuse. Is there any advice that you have for viewers when they watch this film, especially those who may be involved in experiencing unhealthy relationships right now?
My advice would be to always remember to put yourself first. Too many times we focus on other people’s love and we focus on other people’s happiness more than we do our own. But when you put yourself first, you know what to accept in a relationship and what not to settle for, and you’ll know what’s wrong or what’s right.
And sometimes you may not even be aware that you are putting somebody else’s happiness before yours, but I believe as long as you put yourself first, you know who’s for you or who is not, and who has your best interest at heart.
Yeah. It was basically what Rayven has said, put yourself first. And, but more importantly, love yourself first because it’s impossible to love anybody else before yourself. Whatever you’re dealing with internally, you’re going to project that onto other people. So, before you start a serious relationship or you think, ‘oh this is going to be my husband’ or ‘this is wifey,’ I think you should work on yourself completely first.
What message do you hope audiences take away from the movie?
Be more aware of your mental health. Be more aware of what’s going on in your life. Because a lot of the times we built, we don’t even notice that certain things affect us in a negative way until it does. Just make sure your mental and emotional health are okay at all times, because no one’s going to make sure you’re okay as much as you are.
Exactly. And watch who you trust – that’s a big thing. Watch who you trust; and watch the kind of people that come around you. And don’t let anyone get too far into your life without knowing the person as fully as possible or trying to get the best understanding of them and their background before you let snakes into your circle, because if you don’t, it could potentially cost you. You may end up paying the price for their wrongdoings. So that is very important. Always watch the people that you have around you, even the people closest to you, because they hurt you the most.
The riveting story of Dee and Trey will have your heart pumping as this modern-day Bonnie and Clyde teeter the lines of love, loyalty, and crime. It’s one that you don’t want to miss.
Be sure to tune in to the suspense-drama film BLOOD ON HER BADGE airing Monday November 16 at 8 P.M. ET/7C on TV One.
For more information about TV One‘s upcoming programming, including original movies, visit the network’s companion website at www.tvone.tv. You can also join the conversation by connecting via social media onTwitter, Instagram and Facebook using the hashtags #BLOODONHERBADGE and #REPRESENT.
About Our Guests
Tequan Richmond (Trey)
Currently starring in the Lena Waithe and Halle Berry-produced BET series, BOOMERANG, Tequan Richmond is also best known for his gripping performance in the Sundance thriller “Blue Caprice,” and for his iconic role as Drew Rock in the Chris Rock comedy, “Everybody Hates Chris.” His most recent credits include AwesomenessTV’s, The Unsettling, and the Hulu comedy series, All Night.
Tequan’s other credits include his roles in the SlamDance Film Festival’s, Savage Youth, indie Nowhere, Michigan, and Universal Pictures’ Ray, in addition to performances on several, notable primetime shows.
Tequan has been nominated for a Daytime Emmy multiple times for his portrayal of TJ Ashford in ABC’s General Hospital.
Connect with Tequan on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter at: @tdashrich.
Rayven Ferrell (Dee)
Rayven Ferrell can next be seen in the upcoming 21 Laps film THE VIOLENT HEART opposite Mary J. Blige. Rayven most recently played the title role in THE KAMIYAH MOBLEY STORY for Lifetime, opposite Niecy Nash. Rayven is perhaps best known for playing “Sekyiwa Shakur” in Tupac Biopic ALL EYEZ ON ME and opposite Amandla Stenberg in THE HATE YOU GIVE. She has also appeared in guest starring roles on CHICAGO P.D, STAR, and THE BOBBY BROWN STORY.
Connect with Rayven on Instagram and Twitter at: @rayvenferrell.
Amazing interview!! Can’t wait to see the film!
Thank you so much!! Yes definitely tune in tonight — it’s going to be a thriller!
Great article as well as interview
Thank you so much!!
Love this interview 🙌 keep doing what you doing!!!
Thank you so much!!