*“Alice” is a new revenge thriller starring Keke Palmer, Common, and Jonny Lee.
Palmer is Alice, an enslaved woman living on a remote plantation in Georgia. She escapes the brutalities and hardships of that life only to discover it’s 1973 and slavery ended over 100 years ago. Common stars as Frank, a truck driver who finds Alice on the side of the road and helps her plan her revenge on the man who enslaved her. Real-life events inspired the film.
The story of how the project came together starts with Palmer. She received the script, with a letter from the writer and director Krystin Ver Linden. Ver Linden believed Palmer was the only person who could take on the role.
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Palmer was flattered Ver Linden was so familiar with her work and her depth as an actress.
“It was an impactful role,” explained Palmer. “Especially after I read the script, seeing how they dealt with the slave narrative and how Black women existed in that space was, a totally different perspective from what we’ve seen before. Plus, the history that brought these circumstances to the forefront was swept under the rug.” Palmer is also an executive producer on “Alice.”
For her co-star Common, his reasons for joining the cast were similar. He said after reading the script, he knew it was a well-told story, but he didn’t know everything taking place. He had a few questions for Ver Linden.
“The story starts on a plantation, but then you find this woman in the 70s,” said Common. “I wanted to know how she got there, was it time travel, or did she transport? I wanted to know how it happened. When Krystin explained, ‘no, it was in the 70s when Alice was enslaved. This story is inspired by a real person, which took place in the 60s. There were people still enslaved in the state of Texas.'”
The idea for the film sparked when Ver Linden was given an article about the incident. Common said she set it in the 70s because “it was a more joyful time” following the civil rights movement.
“For me, if a director has good taste, that’s half the battle. They will tell you when you need to do something different and flip it,” added Common. “So, I felt confident in Kristen as a director and writer.” Common is also responsible for the film’s score.
The rapper also shared how passion was critical to his trust in the director, “I loved her passion for Keke. She told me exactly what she shared with Keke. So I started feeling exactly what she was saying. And as everyone will see, Keke bodied that joint.”
This is Ver Linden’s directorial debut. “Alice” arrives in theatres March 18.