Fans will get to see For Colored Girls actress Kimberly Elise’s rowdy side on June 9 when Hannah’s Law premieres on The Hallmark Movie Channel.
The original film is a western about Hannah Beaumont, played by “The Vampire Diaries” star Sara Canning, who is a bounty hunter seeking revenge for her murdered family members.
Danny Glover plays famed outlaw Isom Dart, Hannah’s father figure in the film. Hannah’s suitor is none other than Wyatt Earp (portrayed by Greyson Holt) and Kimberly plays Hannah’s best friend Stagecoach Mary, a legendary figure in the early 1900s.
“I’m really happy that an African-American historical character was included in the piece,” Kimberly told S2S. “I think it’s important for us to remember that we were a part of this country in many, many capacities. My character was born a slave and she became an entrepreneur.”
If you have not heard of Stagecoach Mary, who was a U.S. mail carrier known for delivering packages to remote locations in the most challenging conditions, don’t feel bad. Kimberly said that many of the people she has talked to about the film did not know that Stagecoach Mary ever existed.
“She was one of our few, if only, known Black female cowgirls. And I think it’s awesome that the filmmakers included her in this story along with Wyatt Earp, who’s had a million movies made, and Doc Holliday. And that Stagecoach Mary is standing there amongst them in a very powerful way.”
Kimberly said she’s a bigger fan of Westerns now that she’s made one. “Period pieces are always fun, beginning with the costumes and the looks of the characters,” she said.
“Then I had to develop the skills. I’ve shot guns before for films, but in this you’re using antique guns. So I had to go through a whole training on how to use antique guns. And Mary is very proficient with her shotguns and rifles and carries a few of them on her. So, I had to be comfortable with the guns and be able to pull them out.”
Another plus to being Stagecoach Mary is that she drives a stagecoach, which according to Kimberly, is one sweet ride. She had two weeks of stagecoach driver training. “It’s an actor’s dream experience,” Kimberly said of steering a coach while it’s being pulled by six horses at full speed. “I had so much fun doing this project.”
The horses also enjoyed it. Kimberly said that as soon as her co-stars heard their cues on set, they started rearing to take off. “I had to be able to control them. And safety is always an issue. There’s a part where I’m driving the horses and shooting the bad guys at the same time,” she said with excitement.
Kimberly said the set was very safe. She had professional cowboys there to help her along the way, but no stunt doubles. To see the drama queen in action tune in for the world premiere of Hannah’s Law on the Hallmark Move Channel.
Kimberly talks more about her role and other upcoming projects in the July 2012 issue of Sister 2 Sister.
—Sabrina M. Parker
Photos: Black Actresses Speak