Checkmate! Because BET + has a new show that brings edginess and sexiness like you have never seen before.
Based on Christian Keyes‘ book Ladies Night, All The Queen’s Men is full of money, power, respect, and exotic male dancers. Starring Eva Marcille, who plays Marilyn ‘Madam’ DeVille,’ a powerful woman who is all about her business, the drama series follows her at the peak of her game in the nightclub industry at Club Eden.
Keyes is also the creator, executive producer and co-stars in the show. All The Queen’s Men is one of the first shows from Tyler Perry Studios’ scripted development department.
ATQM has been in the making for more than 10 years, and Keyes sat down with BET.com to talk about why he created his character on the show, working on Tyler Perry Studios, and who he would personally invite to Club Eden in real life.
BET.com: Christian, you play The Concierge on the new BET+ series, All The Queen’s Men, which is based on your book Ladies Night. How does it feel to see the story come to life?
Christian Keyes: It feels amazing after having worked on it a really long time and getting a lot of no’s and a lot of maybes and getting optioned a few times. [Now] getting it back and we’re finally working in Atlanta, where [the show] is supposed to be at TPS [Tyler Perry Studios] and BET+ and getting it done right. It feels incredible to have the talent attached, the music attached, the studio attached, and people.
BET.com: You are one of the producers on the series, correct?
CK: Yes, I’m the creator and one of the executive producers on it. And I also get to play the concierge, which is fun. He’s a fun character. I like him. I’m excited to see where we take him.
BET.com: The Concierge has this mystique to him that has people on edge a bit. Why was it important to include a character like that ?
CK: Because originally I was going to play something safe like something safer like Madam’s attorney, or maybe the mentoring kind of supervisor in the halfway house, and you know Tyler [Perry] did what he does. He’s like, ‘Really? Don’t play the same role.’ He didn’t say anything else about, like, oh man, okay.
So it was kind of a challenge, it was a non-verbal challenge like hey, you know, have some fun. So I created The concierge. I figured it would be fun to match up somebody with Madam, so you don’t know if he’s a friend or foe. You don’t know if he’s an ally or an enemy, and you know, and we’ll unpack all of that.
But [Madam] is such a powerful, unapologetic female character that you need somebody who is poised and polished as her, but also as potentially dangerous as she is, and we don’t know the dangers that he brings, so I’m excited about it.
BET.com: As the producer of the series, what was it like to work with Tyler Perry?
CK: It was great! On purpose, it’s not Tyler Perry’s All The Queen’s Men … it’s All The Queen’s Men, and I appreciate that he did that because he didn’t want to take credit for something I’ve been working on for 11 years. It’s All The Queen’s Men, and it was done by Tyler Perry Studios. He pretty much just let us shoot it, and he made whatever adjustments he made, but that meant a lot. He’s got so many great shows and movies under his umbrella, and it’s nice to get credit for what I’ve been working on.
I probably got four or 5000 hours in this rewriting, and it’s just nice to get credit for creating something like this, and it’s definitely a team victory. I appreciate the way that he handled everything, and I’m excited to see where it goes.
BET.com: You’ve got a great relationship with your teenage son, and being a father is super important to you. What conversations have you had with your son about money, power, and respect?
CK: We talk candidly; that’s my guy. I’ve been rationing out the candid talk or frankness for the last three or four years just so he understands this so we can move our relationship into that area, to where he feels like he can talk to me about anything. I doubt he’s gonna watch All The Queen’s Men; but he’s over the moon.
I’m super excited that he’s experiencing my joy in this area of my life, and I’m experiencing his. He just dropped an EP. He sings. He has a great voice, so we get to celebrate each other’s victories right now.
BET.com: That’s amazing! Will there be an All The Queen’s Men soundtrack featuring one of his songs?
CK: I’m going to work on it now. Dad is going to try to see what he can do!
BET.com: If you had to hire three of your Hollywood friends to come and work at Club Eden, who would get hired on the spot? Or who would get a personal invite to be in the audience?
CK: I would bring Rihanna. I think she’d have a good time in Eden. I think she would have a wonderful time in Eden. I’ve worked with Keri [Hilson] a couple of times, and she’s super dope. She’s unapologetically feminine and enjoys her femininity. And for the last one, let me see…Kim Whitley would have a ball in Eden. I think she would have an absolute blast.