Wendy Williams on Her Lifetime Biopic Viewing Plans & Finding the Perfect Casting Fit

Wendy Williams
Q&A
Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for Vulture Festival

Some stories are so juicy, you need to hear them twice. Wendy Williams‘ rise from radio shock jock to syndicated talk show queen qualifies.

First, The Oval‘s Ciera Payton stars in an authorized biopic that also dramatizes Williams’ early-career cocaine addiction, date rape by an artist, plastic surgery, love story, two heartbreaking five-month miscarriages and the implosion of her 22-year marriage.

10 Wendy Williams Moments We Hope Her Lifetime Biopic Covers (VIDEO)See Also

10 Wendy Williams Moments We Hope Her Lifetime Biopic Covers (VIDEO)

From upsetting both Tupac Shukur and Method Man to her slurs about gay men, the talk show host has courted her share of controversy.

Then, Williams speaks for herself (and cries, a lot!) in a feature-length documentary shot in 2019–20 during the fallout of ex-husband Kevin Hunter’s cheating scandal. “It feels like I needed to go through that to be the woman I am today,” she says. “So I don’t have regrets.” She called us to dish.

How did you know Ciera was the woman to play you?

Wendy Williams: She had it right away. I wanted her to be that girl who has sensible knowledge of the streets, but she’s not from the streets. I don’t say ain’t; she shouldn’t say ain’t.

Ciera Payton as Wendy Williams (Credit: Lifetime)

What are you most excited for people to see?

I don’t know very many people that have a work ethic like I do. Working two radio jobs in the same day, I would get off the air at six in the morning in New York and be on time for my 3 p.m. shift in D.C.

You’re planning to watch the movie for the first time in its entirety when it airs. Set that scene for us.

I’m going to watch it by myself. I will be looking at texts, but I won’t be answering texts. And I definitely won’t be picking up the phone. I can’t.

Wendy Williams: The Movie, Movie Premiere, Saturday, January 30, 8/7c, Lifetime

The Wendy Williams Story…What a Mess!, Documentary Premiere, Sunday, January 30, 10/9c, Lifetime