Tami Roman plays the lead in BET’s new scripted series, Haus of Vicious, as a powerhouse designer Chantel Vivian. The original series follows her as she deals with lies, scandal, and betrayal, mainly from her manipulative husband, Kane Livingston, played by Redaric Williams, while running her fashion house, “Haus of Vicious.”
Chantel struggles between saving herself and saving her marriage due to her husband’s secrets and infidelities often leaking to the media. Her character is much more ‘vicious’ than Roman’s previous acting roles and as real as her stints on reality television.
“Relating to Chantel’s role as a multidimensional world in the spotlight as a woman in a fast-paced always evolving world is a life that I live daily,” she shared with Shadow and Act. “Although she doesn’t wear the same hats as I do daily, I can relate on a business spectrum in the entertainment arena as a mother, actor, producer, director and more. Her style resonates with me, the dedication put forth in her brand resembles the same dedication that I strive to carry in my own success.”
Roman, who served as executive producer of the eight-part drama from Jill Ramsey, said it also “showcases the dichotomy of how the past & present collide.”
“Haus of Vicious shows how childhood trauma conditioning absolutely impacts everyday adult life. Even the most successful people, if unaware of their own conditioning, might destroy all they’ve worked for unwittingly,” she explained.
“Chantel was raised with an upbringing that most old school parents would say is ‘love.’ She had a nice house. A mother and father. Clothes, food,” the 52-year-old continued. “But, the things she internalized from her mother’s ‘tough love’ absolutely plays out in her adult life and her overall emotional rollercoaster ride that she endures daily in her success.”
Roman added, “Our hope is that Season 1 of ‘Haus of Vicious’ displays the arc of going from being a victim of your environment and circumstance; to acknowledging, healing and evolving to a place of self love.”
The series also stars Erica Peeples, Kyler O’Neal, Norman Nixon Jr., Tiffany Black, Ella Joyce, Dorian Wilson, and Brely Evans
Viewers have been sucked into the drama and betrayal displayed on the “HOV’” since its Aug. 17 premiere. For this production, Roman worked with her daughter, Lyric Anderson, who plays Tia, and Roman’s other daughter, Jazz Anderson, who created the show’s theme song.
Each episode was directed by industry vet Kim Fields, who most have been fans of since 'Living Single' or 'The Facts of Life.'
While revealing her difficulty crying when the cameras come on, O’Neal credited the television producer for helping her cry out loud.
“There was a scene where I needed to cry and I was just like, ‘I don’t know how I’m going to do this’ and Kim did something because she has that acting background,” she told us. “She did. She was able to connect with me as an actor and get me and help guide me to that place where I could, or at least and then just kind of let them water up and go there. And I was like, wow…I was shocked at myself. I was like, I didn’t even know I had this in me.”
She said Fields was entirely “helpful” to herself and the cast, offering tips and tidbits about their acting skills. “Her insight as an actor really helped her as a director. And…I'm so appreciative of her because she helped me become a better actor at this time,” said O’Neal shared.
Williams chimed in, adding, “It was amazing working with her [Fields]. You could just feel her creativity from the moment she steps on set. You should see how she analyzes everything. She’s painting a picture, but she lets everything breathe and let it do what it does. She’s a very, very creative person.”
He believes viewers will be surprised by Kane’s behavior towards the end of the show, using the signature phrase: “Hurt people do hurt people.” Both Chantel and Kane live dysfunctional personal lives, but Williams agreed that’s what makes audiences tune in.
“You’ll find out that he’s actually a very flawed person. But I think that’s something that’s very reflective of the writing,” Williams said of show writers Amaleka McCall and Tu-Shonda Whitaker. “And you can see whether they’re finding the humanity in the story, and with these characters, and they’re aim is to connect and break in that wall – drawing people in and getting them into the story and they’re do an amazing job.”
Peeples agreed, calling Fields a “master of her craft.” For her role as Chantel’s publicist, Jaelyn Ryan, Peeples said she felt obligated to make sure neither Chantel nor the company crumbles to the ground.
“I do everything to try to just let her know that she is loved and she has somebody who’s got her back no matter what. And I want the best for her and for the company. But Jaelyn is no joke,” said Peeples. “She gives everybody the business. You know you got to be on time. You got to come correct. She’s trying to run a corporate business…a professional business. And I just get bombarded by all these shenanigans that happens within the ‘Haus of Vicious.’ She added, “So that’s where Jalen stands. She’s no-nonsense.”
“Haus of Vicious” is n full effect with new episodes Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. ET/PT on BET and BET Her.