Landra Phillips and Dwayne Parker talk Asunder The Series and more here--->>
We are featuring Asunder The Series in our #DontSleepOnDigital series. The best thing by far about doing this series has been unearthing these gems. But the "downside", if we can really call it that, has been catching the featured series more on the backend than the frontend. But not this time! I was ecstatic to find out I was catching this series in the beginning. Good news for me and for you if you haven't seen it already. If you haven't, now is most definitely the time. Listen. Asunder has a bit of everything; family drama, corporate drama, murder mystery, politics, a psycho stalker, missing persons, a father (priest) who is a father (had a kid), baby switching, secret affairs, secret alliances, it addresses domestic abuse, twists, turns and sex (lots). Yes, all that in just the first three episodes. Side note; to all of the soap fans who complain about those grandma soap kisses we get now; Asunder has none of that! Open mouth kisses, long kisses. Enough said. LOL.
We interviewed Landra V. Phillips, Creator, Co-Writer, Co-Director, Executive Producer and Actress and Dwayne Parker Co-Director, Executive Producer and Actor of Asunder. We were excited to find out more about Landra, Dwayne, and the show!
Landra, the brainchild of Asunder is a lifetime soaper from Silver Spring, Maryland. Her parents exposed her to sports and the arts and stressed the importance of education, faith, and spirituality growing up. It was an education inside and outside of her home that primed and prepared Landra for her future. Specifically, regarding Asunder, it was her history with and an affinity for the genre that inspired the series. "My inspiration for Asunder The Series came from my childhood and teenage years seeing my mother watch Young and The Restless, Bold and The Beautiful, and As The World Turns religiously. She was also a huge fan of Dallas and Dynasty. If she couldn’t watch these shows during their air time, she taped them on her VCR." Sounds like our kind of lady!
Landra wears five hats for Asunder. Her love of soaps birthed her creator hat. Her love of reading helped Landra initially to develop her writing skills. She continued to hone her skills. And when Landra moved to New York after college all of the remaining pieces fell in place. She worked for the New York City Department of Education at The High School for Law Enforcement and Public Safety where she taught drama and theater and ran the school’s drama and theater program. Teaching others propelled Landra to become even more serious about her own goals including those of having her own production company."I started Six Feet High Productions in 2012. It was through my production company that I wrote, directed, co-starred in and mounted the stage play Am I My Brother's Keeper. And also where I wrote, directed, produced, and co-starred in my web series Chocolate City (on YouTube)."
Working at The High School for Law Enforcement and Public Safety, Landra met Dwayne Parker, who was a guidance counselor at the school. The first thing we learned about Dwayne during the interview and one of the most fascinating things was about his unique lineage. "I consider myself an All-American. My parents are from Guyana in South America. I was born in Toronto, Canada. I’m a citizen of the United States and raised in Jamaica, Queens in New York. I claim them all." In addition, we learned; "I hold an undergraduate degree in Broadcast Journalism with a minor in Theater and a Master's Degree in Counseling. And I've served in the military."
One day in 2016, co-colleague, Landra showed her drafted scripts of Asunder to co-colleague, Dwayne. He loved them and agreed to come on board as a co-executive producer. Asunder was that much closer to becoming a reality. The next person to come on board with Landra to complete Asunder's executive team was Tom Ukah. "I met Tom Ukah through my project, Chocolate City. He came on (Asunder) as an actor and senior producer for season one episodes one, two and three. He's also my co-writer for season one episodes four, five and six that we are currently filming now. I knew I needed a strong team. I have that in Dwayne and Tom. I thank God for both of them. They are my right hand and left hand."
Her right hand, Dwayne, detailed for us his journey in the entertainment industry. "I’ve always had a love for entertainment. I’ve been in the entertainment industry since 1998. I’ve interned at companies such as Qwest and A&M Records in their Marketing and A&R departments. I started my own production company, Knight 7 Productions, I have worked at NBC, MSNBC, and the Oxygen Network. There was a time where I became frustrated with the business, and I left it for about sixteen years. During that time, I developed a new career in education giving back to children as a teacher and a counselor. It has been through my successes and failures that I learned this is the place for me. Now, I am determined to be successful in front of the camera doing what I love." Love it!
Asunder The Series was launched on and is currently available on Amazon Prime. Do yourself the biggest favor, carve out an hour and a half and indulge. You won't be sorry. We asked Landra and Dwayne to tell us about the series. We have combined their responses which depicts the show perfectly. "Asunder is a modern-day adult digital soap opera that doubles down on all the things we love about soaps, a great storyline with constant drama, betrayal, love, twists, and turns and adds a diverse cast that breaks the social norms you see on TV today. The series follows the affluent, yet dysfunctional Chandler family, who own Chandler Parfums and Cosmetics Corporation in New York City. CEO Thomas Chandler is always trying to stay one step ahead of his arch enemies the Blair family, who own Blair Natural Fragrances Ltd. The Chandlers are an African American family and the Blairs are a Bi-Racial family. The Chandlers deal with a series of lies, betrayal, and scandal that will rock the Big Apple to its very core. It’s the new ride at an amusement park that you must experience." We concur you must!
Feedback from the audience has been great. And people inside the industry are taking notice as well. The show was nominated for the 2019 Indie Series Awards. And very recently, the TV script for Asunder's season one episode five "Requiem for a Dream Part 2" and episode six "The Ties that Bind" are an official selection of the Rome Independent Prisma Film Awards. This selection gives Asunder the opportunity to advance to the Semi-Final Round of Rome Independent Prisma Film Awards' annual TV Script/Film Screenplay Competition. Congratulations!
In addition to Asunder, Dwayne is working with director/writer, Natalie Polanco and plays one of the leads on her new web series Pyramids and he also wrote a short action/drama film, Vex which is in pre-production. Landra is currently working on her first short film, Angel Food, has a digital series in the works, A Love Supreme and has a role in her first feature film, Sextuplets, with Marlon Wayans which will be released in late 2019 on Netflix.
We were so happy to hear from Landra that, "There will definitely be a season two! Tom and I will begin writing the first three episodes of season two once we have wrapped filming season one episodes four, five and six" Yea!
Again, listen. Start watching now! This show is soapy soapy soapy! Landra said it best; "If you love the soap opera genre and drama then this is the show for you!! The show is unique in that an African American family runs a major fragrance company and the show features a chemist of color. We have several familiar faces you will recognize Robert G. McKay (Pastor Ayres, Hidden Figures), Tony D. Head (Major Bobby Reed, The Wire), Lauren B. Martin (Camille Bennett, As the World Turns)and our special guest star for the next three episodes is Don Brumfield (Black Ink Crew Chicago)." We are ready!
Thank you Landra and Dwayne!
Watch the first three episodes of Asunder now on Prime Video!
Keep your eyes peeled for the next three and season two!
Stay on the lookout for Pyramids, Angel Food, A Love Supreme, and Sextuplets!
Fun Fact: We will be doing a meet the cast article on Asunder!
Check out Asunder The Series' Love Teaser Below!
I AM KP Smith