Tonight, BET's latest erotic-romance, OPEN, premieres on our TV screens!
OPEN is a BET romantic drama starring actors Essence Atkins and Keith Robinson. In the film, Robinson plays "Cameron," husband to "Wren" (played by Atkins) of nearly 10 years.
The film portrays the lives of a wife and husband who explore the idea of having a non-traditional arrangement in their marriage, including incorporating the act of polyamory, in an effort to minimize any marital foul play. However, every game has its rules, as Cameron and Wren soon find out.
1. The Producer Interviewed A Married Black Couple Who Have An Open Marriage
Atkins not only stars in OPEN as the film's lead protagonist "Wren," but she is also one of the film's producers. During an interview with BET, Atkins revealed that she actually interviewed an affluent, African-American couple from Atlanta, who have been married for 20 years- 10 of which has been polyamorous.
"In doing the research and talking to a couple who is open, one of the things that I asked them, I said, 'Well, in your experience, what's been the margins of success in this kind of relationship and keeping your marriage together?' And what they said, that they have been doing it for 10 years, and what they had observed was that [the issues] were about the same. So even in opening up your marriage to having multiple partnerships and multiple levers, it didn't necessarily guarantee that your marriage would still endure. And that I found fascinating."
2. The Movie Speaks To A Deeper Issue In Marriages Outside Of Polyamory
Atkins admitted that while the idea that infidelity is often thought of as the main reason for divorce, when that's no longer an issue, couples are forced to look at the deeper meaning behind their problems. That is something that 'OPEN' will also explore.
"If cheating isn't an option, and if it isn't the obstacle, and if it's not about infidelity, then where does divorce come from when you're polyamorous, you know what I mean? Or when you are not in the confines of monogamy. So it speaks to a larger issue as to how people can stay together, even in that kind of situation. How do you stay together?”
3. Open Relationships Have Boundaries & Rules Too
Atkins reveals that upon research for the film, she realized that open relationships have their own set of rules and boundaries.
"They're not all the same either. Just like 'regular relationships' or I would say, more 'common relationships' or what we think of as quote-unquote 'traditional relationships.' Either way, the rules are still there. Each couple still requires - and insists upon - some sort of boundary or some sort of agreement. That's the other thing. It's not just like a free for all," Atkins revealed.
While on the topic of the unnamed couple in which she spoke to, she revealed that one of their main rules is no open relationships with other couples who are not in a "happy" marriage. The couple does this in order to minimize the chances of someone falling in love with another person who is not their partner.
"This particular couple - and this blew my mind - but they only have open relationships with other people who are happily married."
4. Despite Having Sensual Elements, 'OPEN' is Not Just About Sex
Keith Robinson, who stars as the male lead "Cameron," in OPEN, revealed that although there are some erotic elements in the film, OPEN really is a love story, at its core.
"This movie is really intimate. You really get to know the characters, and you see the pain that they endure, and what happens from their own decisions. You kind of get sucked into their plight, and you end up rooting for them to try and figure a way out of this hole that they've dug themselves into. So I think it's way more than [sex]. it's not about sex; sex is just one element of it. It's more about trust issues, you know? And trying to find levity, and trying to find something to hold on to that's going to make it last.
5. However, In Real Life, Keith is the complete opposite of “Cameron”
While on the topic of rules and key ingredients for a successful relationship, Keith says his number one rule is...
"I think one of the rules in a relationship should be 'No open relationships!' (laughs)
OPEN stars Essence Atkins (Smart Guy; Deliver Us from Eva), Keith Robinson (Dreamgirls; This Christmas), Jasmine Guy (Grey’s Anatomy, The Quad, A Different World), Matt Cedeño (Power, Ambitions) and Marquita Goings (American Soul, Tales).
The film was written and directed by Cas Sigers Beedles; produced by Essence Atkins, Melissa Young, and Kirk Frasier. Serving as executive producers are Terri J. Vaughn and Cas Sigers Beedles (for Nina Holiday Entertainment), Richelle Cross (for Class & Sass Productions) and Roger Bobb.
OPEN premiere tonight, March 14th, at 8PM EST, only on BET & BET HER.