Eva Marcille is loving playing Marilyn Deville, a.k.a. Madam, in the new BET+ series “All the Queen’s Men.”
“She runs the city of Atlanta, she has multiple businesses,” Marcille told CNN. “She is a business woman at heart. Her whole goal in life is to be very successful by building an empire.”
The character does that by way of a nightclub called “Eden,” which features male dancers and where “all things that are forbidden are allowed.”
“That’s what this show really is,” Marcille said. “It’s boss women, running the city with men serving as their playthings.”
It’s definitely a different vibe for Marcille, who first found fame years ago on “America’s Next Top Model” and more recently appeared on “The Real Housewives of Atlanta.”
Marcille said is thrilled to be working on the Tyler Perry series in which she gets to play den mother to a group of male strippers.
“I love the fact that I am their protector, I’m their provider, I’m the one they go to when they’re in trouble,” Marcille said of her character. “I also love the fact that I get to provide as a woman an outlet for other powerful women.”
The series is based on the 2014 popular book “Ladies Night,” written by Christian Keyes who also serves as a writer on the show.
He told CNN he originally wrote it as a script in 2010, finished it in 2011, “started pitching it and got a bunch of noes,” wrote the novel in 2014, tried pitching it again as a show in 2015 and has finally seen his vision come to fruition all these years later.
“It landed where it was supposed to, Tyler Perry’s studios,” Keyes said. “He has a team of rockstar Black women over there — I call them ‘The Avengers’ — and they took what I wrote and challenged me to make it something even better.
“It’s great to see what it’s become, it’s where it’s supposed to be and I’m excited to see where it goes,” Keyes said.
Marcille is hoping it goes in the direction of providing a fun escape for audiences.
“Jump into our world, play in our world,” she said. “I really want to inspire women to be who you want to be in your truth. We don’t have to cover it up anymore.”