INTERVIEW WEB EXCLUSIVE:
Lifetime’s upcoming emotional and inspirational Fall movie, The Fight That Never Ends, premiering Sunday, October 17th and we at iHollywoodTV got to chat with Joanne Beck, who serves as an executive producer and her real life story inspired the film.
IHTV: First off, tell us more about the story?
Joanne: This story centers around three people, who all are living their lives with family, friends and their own hardships. When Leon's, Joanne's and Jay's lives intertwine, fate is set into motion. The odds of these three people ever meeting were slim, but what they found out was that even with their differences, they had one common goal and set out to fulfill that purpose; love and respect was tested and earned, as they built an unbreakable bond that unknowingly would leave a legacy.
IHTV: Serving as Executive Producer, your real life story inspired the film to happen. Tell us more about that.
Joanne: I spent thirty years fighting to tell this story. When Jay was killed tragically, we were in the middle of working on our love story, as a film with Zoetrope (1992). It did not work out, but it never deterred me from giving up. Fast forward to 2018, Leon was very ill and something in me knew he did not have long, so at that moment I decided after 16 drafts, 8 writers and a few Hollywood options, I was going to raise the money and make the film myself. I had never made a movie and truly had no idea what I was stepping into, but something in me flicked a switch and I knew it was now or never, I had to honor Jay and Leon and all they gave the world and all they taught me. On a Wednesday night after months of getting the financing together, I flew to LA to hold Leon's hand and tell him I was going to make this film, the film all three of us were, over the three decades apart of, he died two days later.
IHTV: What is the big take away you want audiences to take from the story of the movie?
Joanne: The takeaway is that all of us are born with a purpose, something in us we are supposed to do while we are here on earth. If you allow those special callings to get pushed away, to allow others to deter you, and to let fear keep you doing what others expect of you, and not what is in you, the outcome then is unknown, and you could be left with a hole in your spirit. I hope by telling our story that all people can look within to see themselves, to not be afraid to stand up for injustice, and that the power we have when we respect and love all people, and when those walls come down, amazing change can occur. The other important takeaway, is that I went to the one place everyone feared and ran from, and that place of South Central LA, was where I found beauty, love and purpose. I will forever be grateful this community let me in and helped me grow into a strong independent person. As a white Jewish woman I was saved by the teachings and love and the bridges we all built together as one, speaking as one.
IHTV: How was it like to see the process of the film come to life on screen?
Joanne: OH man, first understand how grateful I am that Lifetime is premiering our film. The process of filmmaking and business was the hardest endeavor I ever took on, and mind you, I ran my own Scrap Iron and Metal Business. But... watching it all come together and those moments of sitting in the directors chairs alongside the crew as they filmed were hard to put into words. I was told that I could never do this, that I would never, as a first time Indie producer get to the end of this journey, what they didn't understand, was that only death itself could stop me, I would never give up, and I had many angels making sure I would get to the end. It may sound cliche, but I truly took each step and figured out a way to power through, I had help when I was at my lowest moments, people would come through. My parents at the end saved this film from finishing... how life sure comes full circle. Now that it's happening and it's tangible, I am beginning to feel it all, and it's unbelievable, and I am thankful and I know all those lost are smiling down. Having Jays daughters by my side the whole way through, our daughter Danielle writing the screenplay that sparked this off, and during filming Jays family and the 107 Hoovers roll through to be part of this... what can I say, proud, only proud.