Back in 2014, author C.J. Hudson released his book titled Turf Warz. As the title suggests, the book is about a newly-emerged turf war that is taking place in Cleveland, Ohio. Roscoe Crawford is the novel’s protagonist, a young criminal who works for Cleveland’s current kingpin, Sam Thornton. Crawford is, of course, not satisfied with his position and wants to become the kingpin himself and when the opportunity to take down Thornton presents himself, he and his ruthless gangs jump to take it. What they do not know, though, is that another gang, led by Richard “Rock” Harris is planning to do the same thing, thus provoking a turf war on the streets of Cleveland.
Author C.J. Hudson himself comes from the east side of Cleveland, where he grew up surrounded by crime, violence, and drugs. Determined to rise above such a way of living, he attended Kent State University for one year. He was an avid reader in his youth and when his future wife gave him Carl Weber’s Married Men, thus introducing him to urban fiction, it changed his life. But it wasn’t until he got laid off from his job as a machine operator that he decided to try his hand at writing. After writing his first manuscript entitled Skeletons, he wrote the manuscript that got him a publishing deal, Chedda Boyz. Since publishing his debut novel, C.J has penned eleven more novels.
This book, Turf Warz, has had a solid success among fans and in 2021, AM Film Studios and Boss Magnet Media have decided to adapt the book into a movie called Trap Soldiers, set to be released this year. The movie is going to star Joseph Mason as Roscoe Crawford, Akron Watson as Richard “Rock” Harris, Kerry McCormick as Captain Rachel Turner, and Odessa Feaster as Cleveland’s Mayor, Paula Wilson.
In preparation for the movie’s release, we at Fiction Horizon have a special, exclusive interview with Odessa Feaster, whose character has to dig deep down into Cleveland’s crime-filled streets to find street justice after the murder of her only son to drug-related violence.
Odessa Feaster was born as Odessa Williams and is an American actress best known for her roles in works such as Now You See Me, Breakout Kings, Moms Night Out, Snitch, along with several works she has done. Odessa is the youngest of six children born to Rev. Moses and Fannie Williams. She is a native of Shreveport Louisiana.
Her love for acting developed at a very young age, as she, according to her own words, said that she would become an actress when she was just eight years old. Although it took some time to try it, Odessa Feaster decided to give it a go after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans back in August of 2005. And this is how her story began; today, she has more than 40 acting credits in her biography and she sat down with our writer to talk about her life, career, and, of course, her new movie, Trap Soldiers. This is what we talked about.
Check out the whole interview with Odessa Feaster below.
1. Tell me about your new movie Trap Soldiers
Trap Soldier is a movie based on the Novel Turf Wars, written by Author C. J. Hudson. I play the role of Mayor Paula Wilson of Cleveland Ohio, whose main priority is a mother’s vengeance against the corrupt city that changed her life forever. Mayor Wilson is seeking justice for her son?
2. How did you get involved with the project?
Like many actors in the industry, I auditioned for the role. After reading the character breakdown, I knew right away it was the perfect role for me, so I gave it my all. I submitted an audition tape for the role on that same day – one of the producers contacted me immediately.
3. Can you tell us how Trap Soldiers ties into your career?
There are several similarities, but I will just name a couple. First, I would have to say the elements of uncertainty prior to obtaining a role, in contrast to my commitment to booking that role. My career reflects both uncertainty and commitment rolled into one. For example, the uncertainty I experience prior to booking a role often serves as the catalyst that motivates me to achieve my objectives.
4. What do you think about the movie?
I think the movie is phenomenal! I feel the audience will make a connection with each character and identify them with people in their everyday lives. This movie conveys real life. The cast exudes brilliance!
5. Can you tell us about your character, Paula? We would like to know more
Mayor Paula is like any other hard working career driven woman. Her bar is extremely high… for herself, her son, and for anyone she’s connected with. She’s all about business, and she refuse to waste her time with anything that doesn’t contribute to her achieving success.
6. Do you think there could be a sequel to Trap Soldiers?
I really don’t know at this point…but I hope so. I’d love to see how the city of Cleveland Ohio come together after all that has happened within the community overall. And like any city in America today, it is important to find solutions to everyday problems. Perhaps, a realistic sequel would be equivalent to offering vital solutions to some of those problems.
7. Would you be interested in returning for the sequel?
Absolutely! This chapter of the story is only the tip of the iceberg. Mayor Paula can do a lot more for the city of Cleveland Ohio and its faithful communities.
8. How was the atmosphere on the set? Was the production smooth or did you have some issues? Did the current pandemic influence the filming in any way?
The atmosphere on set was fantastic! Everyone had a great connection off screen, which made our connection on screen much more believable. I must admit this was one of the smoothest productions I’ve ever worked on. Everyone knew their jobs, and they executed them to the fullest!
The director Arthur Muhammad, the producers, and writers from Boss Magnet Media, collectively strived to ensure the set was top notch and highly professional.
Yes, everything has changed since the pandemic. There’s a protocol in place on set and everyone is required to adhere to Covid-19 safety guidelines. We all strive to practice social distancing, and we always utilize PPE.
In the past, the cast and crew enjoyed the flexibility of being together in the same room, while building a comradery and profound connection together. However, today the current level of separation is essential to ensure safety during this pandemic; therefore, the current protocols are necessary.
9. Do you think the pandemic will influence the box office success of Trap Soldiers, for better or worse? (It will probably have less competition, but, of course, fewer people will be going to cinemas)? Or, do you think the movie will be going directly to the streaming service? (Which one?)
I honestly don’t think the pandemic will influence the success of Trap Soldier at all. What is more, I’m not sure which direction Boss Magnet Media, and AM Film Studios will go (e.g., releasing it on streaming, or in the theaters). However, I have confidence that either platform will prove to be a success.
10. In case it is going to streaming, do you think that is better for the movie?
As I stated before no matter what platform the movie is released on, I feel it will be a success either way. I appreciate streaming because everyone will have an opportunity to enjoy the movie in the comfort of their own homes. Although, I’ve recently noticed some production companies utilize both platforms, releasing in theaters, and on streaming networks as well. This is awesome because it provides the ultimate level of saturation; thereby, ensuring all areas of access are covered.
11. What can you tell us about your plans for the future? I see you are working on a new TV show, Sacrifice. Can you tell us more about the show and your character? Something else in foreseeable future?
My plan is to release a book that’s been in the works for a while now. The book is based on my personal life experiences. It depicts my struggle to remain focused on everyday life, my acting career, and trying to find balance with it all. I’m also trying my hand behind the camera. I am currently producing a few new projects.
The new TV series Sacrifice is one for the books. I am proud to say that I have a recurring role on the series, and my character Misty Cross is profoundly passionate about her loved ones. I highly encourage everyone to tune in to Sacrifice the series… it’s a must watch!
In the foreseeable future, I can see myself giving back to those who may want to venture upon the art of acting. Having a strong support system will be fundamental to learning and navigating the ups, and downs of the business. I’m a firm believer to continue receiving success it is important give back.