Talk show host Wendy Williams knows drama better than almost anyone else on television, so it’s no surprise that she’s executive-producing Lifetime’s Wendy Williams: The Movie, a biopic on her own life. The film, which is set to premiere Jan. 30 followed by a feature-length documentary on Williams, will tell the story of her childhood, her beginnings in urban radio, and her rise to prominence with The Wendy Williams Show.
From the trailer, it’s clear that the movie won’t hesitate to touch on some of the more controversial aspects of Williams’ legacy, including her cocaine misuse, experiences with sexual assault, and long-standing marital troubles with her ex-husband Kevin Hunter. However, the movie will also cover moments from Williams’ show (and life) that have gone viral — including the time when she collapsed on-air while dressed as the statue of liberty.
Below, meet the cast who’s bringing it all to life.
Ciera Payton Plays Wendy Williams
Ciera Payton has been acting in movies and television for over a decade, appearing in shows such as Graceland, The Walking Dead, and Ballers. Currently, Payton is a member of the cast of BET’s The Oval. Of portraying Wendy Williams, Payton told The Advocate: “I feel like the person we see on the show is somewhat of a character that Wendy created… I wanted to try and find out who the woman was behind the show.”
Morocco Omari Plays Kevin Hunter
Morocco Omari, who’s best known for his roles on P-Valley, Empire, and Homeland as well as the recent Chadwick Boseman film 21 Bridges, plays Williams’ philandering now ex-husband Kevin Hunter. In real life, Williams filed for divorce from Hunter in 2019 after he had a child out of his affair with another woman.
Liza Huget Plays Wendy Williams’ Mom, Shirley
Liza Huget has been acting for over two decades, playing small roles in shows such as Stargate SG-1 and, more recently, The Stand.
Maika Quiashie Plays Young Wendy
Portraying Wendy Williams as a child in Wendy Williams: The Movie marks Maika Quiashie’s first major acting role.