She was the first African American Female to be a contestant of ABC’s hit show “The Bachelor.” But Lanease Adams always knew that she was more than just a contestant – she was a multi-hyphenate talent with skills both on and off the big screens. A woman with more than just beauty to offer the world.
“The Bachelor changed my life in many ways! Some were positive, and some required me to take time away from the spotlight to focus on becoming a stronger person. Prior to the show, I was acting quite a bit and doing well as a young 23 year old actress. But after doing the show and experiencing sudden fame, along with some online racist rhetoric, I had to take a break from acting and focus on my mental health,” she says.
According to research at womenshealth.gov, more than 1 in 5 women in the United States experienced a mental health condition in the past year, such as depression or anxiety.
“With life changing so quickly, I began to struggle. I experienced anxiety, and depression. It took a lot of work to beat these health issues, that I eventually realized stemmed from needing to find my voice, and needing to find self-love. I had to turn all of that around, and get myself grounded. It took some years, but I’m grateful for the woman that those challenges helped me become. I did the work to figure out what was missing in me, and built up a stronger version of myself, Adams added.
These days, the actress turned Hollywood Producer is making her mark again. Adams has a powerful message in the new thriller film “Heaven’s Revenge.”
The multi- award winning feature film follows Heaven Bailey (Lanease Adams) and Professional Wrestler Jackson Davis (Marcus Nel-Jamal Hamm) on a twisty roller coaster ride of love. After having her heart broken, she vows to make her former lover pay dearly for breaking her heart.
“I want “Heaven’s Revenge” to be a fun movie that people can watch with their friends or with their lovers, and go on the wild roller coaster of a relationship! At the end of the film, toxic love is a topic that can be discussed,” Adams tells Heart & Soul.
Ahead of the Hap-Awards this weekend, the Hollywood Executive Producer sat down and spoke with Heart & Soul about her latest film project “Heaven’s Revenge,” Mental Health, and much more.
What inspired your new film project? Why was it important for you to tell this story?
My new feature film “Heaven’s Revenge” was inspired by classic films such as Misery, Fatal Attraction, Unfaithful, and A Thin Line Between Love and Hate. We wanted to make a film that was a thriller, but with strong passion, strong dialogue, and a film that leaves the audience with an opinion on what they’ve just seen. A lot of the feedback has been different from men, than women. Men tend to believe that “Heaven Bailey”, our leading character, was crazy. But women overwhelmingly see the issue with how “Jackson Davis” treated Heaven in the relationship, which made her act crazy.
I believe that this story ultimately is important to open up the dialogue of men at times not taking a woman’s feelings into consideration, prior to trying to make her fall for you.
Tell us what inspired the diversity and inclusion for Heaven’s Revenge Cast?
They say “Be the change that you want to see in the world!” A change that I like seeing is a cast of diverse actors so that the project can appeal to everyone, no matter your race. I didn’t want to make a “black film” or a “white film,” I just wanted to make a GOOD film.
Not only are you the Executive Producer of Heaven’s Revenge but you’re also the starring character. Tell us what inspired you to play the role of Heaven and how did you manage to balance your role as the Executive Producer and leading Actress?
Being Executive Producer of this film, as well as being one of the stars of the film, was very taxing. I invested about 3 years of my life – from conception of the story, working with the script writer, costumes, locations, and then perfecting my performance. And then I had to work with our post production team to get the movie fully completed. As a comedian that I just discovered recently, David Arnold, would say, “It ain’t for the weak!”
You’ve made history and continue to push the limits for yourself while inspiring a new generation. How have you been able to stay mentally strong throughout your journey in front of and behind the scenes?
I definitely pray A LOT! God has been a shoulder to lean on when I am trying to stay mentally strong as I work hard. I have also learned the value of journaling, to keep your mind clear of clutter, and exercise to keep your body and mind feeling good.
Not only have you made history as the first Bachelor contestant to Executive Produce and Star in a multi-award nominated film but you were also recently nominated for the HAPAwards Best Up-and-coming Actress for your performance starring in Heaven’s Revenge. Tell us how does it feel to get awarded for all of your hard work after overcoming depression and mental health.
Sometimes I pinch myself when I get the news that I’ve won an award. Getting the news that I am nominated for a prestigious HAPAward literally made me sit down and take a breath. I put my all into this film, and to be recognized has been a dream come true. Especially because although my depression was 20 years ago, I can still remember those dark days. I would’ve never imagined that my dreams could still come true one day. God has shown me what staying faithful and doing the work will do.
What is your message to the masses about mental health while overcoming fears and obstacles in life’s journey?
Well life will be filled with ups and downs. I think we need to make sure that we have tools in place to help us navigate the challenging moments. Have positive coping mechanisms, like exercise, journaling, prayer, therapy. Also remember that the sun will come up tomorrow. And every storm runs out of rain. Don’t give up on yourself, and continue to work through whatever problem you feel is causing you pain, or keeping you stuck. Just know, you are capable of making your dreams come true. Never give up.
For more information on LaNease Adams, follow her on IG @laneaseadams