Teyonah Parris On Playing Miki Howard in 'Love Under New Management'

Teyonah Parris On Playing Miki Howard in 'Love Under New Management'


Miki Howard is one of the more underrated R&B artists of the 80s and 90s. A powerhouse vocalist who hit the charts with songs like “Baby Be Mine,” “Love Under New Management” and “Nobody Like You” was a fixture on black radio during the glory days of quiet storm and New Jack Swing, but her insecurities, volatile personal life and addictions sent her own a scary downward spiral.

Howard’s life and career are laid bare in TV One’s Love Under New Management: The Miki Howard Story; a television event that airs May 12 at 7pm EST on the network.”

But she also revealed that this was a story she was happy to help tell the world.

“Miki has had such a full life and she’s still so young,” Parris explained. “You get through 97 ages of ‘Whoa!’ and she still has so much more life to go. I wanted to go on this journey. I was scared as hell. We shot this film in three weeks. We told 25 years worth of life in three weeks and told it in 86 minutes. It’s a lot.”

“It’s not easy to tell someone’s life and make it coherent and understandable–that’s not easy. Having long talks with Christine at 3 in the morning and learning from her and her allowing me to be apart of the whole process. I’d never done that before–TV One allowed me to be a producer on this project.”

And with Miki Howard so hands-on, it was interesting dynamic, to say the least. It’s not easy to play someone who can actually call you to critique your performance.

“I think that was one of the scary parts–have you met Miki Howard?” Parris asks, laughing. “She will let you know! Not only will your performance be judge by the masses, the person whose story you’re trying to tell is right there with you. I got to ask the woman herself–what was this moment like for you? There were some dark moments that she actually lived through. I don’t want to bring up old stuff and I’m worried that it will trigger stuff and Miki was like ‘Go further! This is hilarious!’”