In celebrated erotic author, Zane’s first novel, Zane’s Addicted, a woman’s sexual addiction threatens to consume her perfect marriage, thriving company, and two beautiful children. In her infidelity with three different people, Zoe Reynard puts her marriage and her life in jeopardy.
Now, the steamy novel that started it all has been adapted into a film, Addicted, from Lionsgate, which opens Friday. The film, starring Sharon Leal as Zoe, Boris Kodjoe as Zoe’s husband Jason, Tyson Beckford as criminal Corey, and William Levy as painter/sculptor Quinton, was adapted, with all of the titillating parts included, by Christina Welsh and Ernie Barbarash.
Addiction, mental health, marriage in stability
Messages of addiction, mental health, and marriage instability aside, Addicted is still a film catering to female audiences, hence the man candy. One delicious hunk is Levy, a Hispanic soap opera star turned American actor. He recently sat down with the South Florida Times to discuss the movie and his character.
“I loved it!” said Levy, who splits his time between Miami and Mexico City. “I’ve never had the opportunity to play a character like this one before, so it was very exciting to do something new.”
In the story, Quinton is a troubled artist who has been abandoned in different ways by his parents and left to practically fend for himself at a young age. This causes tremendous psychological damage to Quinton and he reacts to abandonment in a very violent way. His behavior, coupled with Zoe’s addiction to being in Quinton’s bed yet not willing to leave her marriage for him, becomes a volatile combination of volcanic proportions.
“(Quinton is) an artist, who thinks he’s missing something,” said the 34-year-old Cuban actor who will next star in the apocalyptic action flick, Veil, as Warrior. “When Zoe and Quinton meet each other, they both find what they were looking for and she falls into her addiction; which ends up putting her life, her marriage, and her kids in danger.”
Their electrifying chemistry jumps off the screen in each scene, which Levy enjoyed. The actor admits that in the beginning stages of production, he scared director Bille Woodruff by yelling, cursing, and breaking a few things to get fully into character. Even Leal commented in the film’s production notes that Levy made the character his own organic creation.
“We had to have someone with that kind of passion and fire, someone you believe could draw Zoe into an affair and into experiencing something completely different from her own world,” Woodruff, who also directed Honey, Beauty Shop, and several episodes of The Game, said in the production notes about Levy. “William really got the character and we felt very lucky to have him.”
The story unfolds as Zoe, an African-American woman, addresses her infidelity and uncovers a mental health issue that is largely underrated: sexual addiction. Going a seemingly conventional route, Zoe makes a point to see Dr. Marcella, played wonderfully chill by Tasha Smith, to discuss her extra-marital affairs; which are a result of her addiction. Smith and Leal volley back and forth as Zoe unravels the events that eventually come to a head and leave Zoe healing in the hospital for six months.
How childhood affects adult lifes
“I wanted to write a story about how what happens to us in childhood affects our adult lives,” said Zane about her first published work and the two key characters of her story. The most troubled character in the book, though, by far, is Quinton.
“Quinton is so different from me that I had to really look for different places to find that monster within me,” said Levy, who credits his experiences in Cuba for getting into the head space to play the character. “I really had to really believe that this guy was suffering for real. I had to really understand him.”
It’s evident in this psychological thriller that Levy did, indeed, understand Quinton’s psyche and the beautifully flawed characters within the film represent a mental help void that is plaguing American society. However, the film does have some fun giving its audience a great show filled with beautifully crafted sets by Jeffrey Pratt Gordon and Sarah Carter and killer outfits thanks to the styling expertise of Lorraine Coppin. This gives the film a visual value to go with its eye candy.
“I think we’re entering a time when audiences are more interested than ever to see women’s sexual empowerment explored in new and different ways,” said Woodruff. “But, I think it will also start some important and interesting conversations.”
Light-hearted to his core, Levy, who was last seen on the small screen in VH1’s Single Ladies, sees the film a little differently: “As the poster says, ‘Every woman needs an escape.’ So, if you want an escape, go out to the theater on the 10th with the girls and live the fantasy for a moment.” Being that Levy is an expert at being a fantasy for many women, we should probably heed his advice.