Romeo Miller, David Banner And More Discuss 'Never Heard's Topical Message
On a recent fall night at Universal Studios’ City Walk in Los Angeles, the faith-based independent film Never Heard premiered with a poignant message. The film dissects the power of God and a timely reminder of the mass incarceration of black men. The likes of Romeo Miller, David Banner, Karreuche Tran, and Kandi Burruss all preside onscreen to deliver an authentic version of the black struggle in America.
Directed by Josh Webber, Banner plays Aaron Davis, a prisoner who is convicted of a crime he didn’t commit. Then there’s Jalen (Miller) who is Davis’ son that grew up in a single parent household in Los Angeles. At the end (spoiler alert), Davis gets out of prison. Yet there are many men and women who are wrongfully trapped behind bars who may never regain their freedom. It’s for people who live on the margins of society that Banner wanted to make this film for.
“He proved that he was wrongfully convicted and he actually got out,” Banner says of his character. “That was one of the things that I was excited about—to be a voice for groups of people who usually don’t have anybody to speak for them. With this role, I’ve been able to speak over and over again the things that have happened to our people in general.”
For Miller, it was also a pivotal role to take on considering his uncle Corey Miller (rapper C-Murder) is in a Louisiana prison convicted of murder. “I had to make time for this,” Miller said. “I got this, I’m going through this in real life with my uncle Corey Miller. This is a story that needs to be heard.”
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Another crucial message the film showcases is the power of faith and letting a higher power work on your behalf. “The most important message is simple, let go and let god,” Miller added. “Sometimes we have things that we’re going through that we don’t understand, sometimes we don’t need to understand we just have to truly believe and have faith.”
Amid the theme of mass incarceration, Never Heard also touches on drug addiction. Musician and Real Housewives of Atlanta star Kandi Burruss plays a drug-addicted mother of two, which is a stark departure from her reality. “I really wanted to do something that was opposite of myself especially now that I want people to take me seriously as an actress," Burruss explained. “I wanted people to see me totally different from what they see me as and I felt this was the perfect role to do that.”
Opposite of Miller is Karreuche who stars as his girlfriend. Her character deals with abandonment from her father, who's only concerned about work. For the Claws actress, the way she handles that lonely feeling is simply through her faith. “Just keeping your strength and your faith in God and knowing that there is a light at the end of the tunnel,” she says.
Never Heard is out now on DVD.