As a former host of ‘The View’ and a stand up comic, Sherri Shepherd is known for her quick wit. But she shows a new side of herself in the gripping new biopic, ‘Brian Banks’.
Sherri Shepherd, 52, gives an epic performance as Leomia Banks, the mother of Brian Banks, 34, a former high school football star whose career was derailed when he was falsely accused of rape and jailed for six years. His inspiring fight to clear his name included a shocking twist (spoiler alert: his accuser admitted on camera that he didn’t rape her), and ended with him being exonerated and even playing in the NFL. Now, Ace Venutra: Pet Detective director Tom Shadyac, 60, has turned his remarkable true story into a movie that is surprisingly uplifting. During the movie’s LA press junket, we sat down with Sherri and her co-star Melanie Lindberg, 31, of This Is Us fame. Sherri told HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY how Brian’s mom Leomia inspired her dramatic performance and what she hopes the film will accomplish.
“I hope that parents can see that they make a big difference in their child’s life” Sherri told us. “Leomia, when he (Brian) was incarcerated, she drove 3 1/2 hours there and 3 1/2 hours back, the entire time he was incarcerated.. She wrote him a letter every day. And that is what kept Brian Banks sane. I want parents to see that you make such a difference in your child’s life.”
“And gosh, let’s use our voice to change the judicial system I don’t think children should be, he was arrested when he was 16 years old, I don’t think children should be tried as adults. And something that Brian said too, go to jury duty stop trying to get out of jury duty. And I used to do that all the time. But go to jury duty because God forbid you are in front of a jury you want someone that looks like you. That might have empathy for your situation. So I hope that we bring awareness to this judicial system and how unlevel it is.”