Wendy Williams Got Emotional Interviewing The Actor Who Plays Her In ‘Wendy Williams: The Movie’

Wendy Williams is a Cancer, and she’s often let it show in the past. The longtime talk show host has had a life filled with ups and downs, and they’re all on display in the new biopic Wendy Williams: The Movie.

Wendy Williams is honored with Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on October 17, 2019 in Hollywood, California | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic
Wendy Williams is honored with Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on October 17, 2019 in Hollywood, California | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Wendy Williams’ story on the silver screen

Wendy Williams: The Movie premiered on Lifetime on January 30 and was accompanied by the documentary Wendy Williams: What a Mess! With her divorce from Kevin Hunter now in the rearview mirror, Williams was ready to tell her story.

In the movie, actor Ciera Payton portrays Williams on her rocky road from radio show host to queen of her own talk show empire. Along the way, fans get a candid look into some of the hardest parts of Williams’ life, including miscarriages, stillbirth, and marital infidelity.

Wendy Williams
Wendy Williams | Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Wendy Williams had a close relationship with the actor who played her

When Payton got the role of Williams in Wendy Williams: The Movie, it was a monumental moment for both of them. Williams interviewed Payton on her talk show ahead of the biopic’s release and expressed what it was like having an actor play her, as well as the relationship she wanted to have with Payton. 

“I felt as though it was really important, because you’re playing me, that I wanted to have your own personal cell number, and she mine, and we made friends away from Lifetime,” Williams told Payton and her studio audience. 

Williams and Payton’s friendship ranged from professional discussion about the movie to just keeping each other company. “Whether it’s been a long day for both of us and just breathing, or eating on the phone,” Williams recalled, “But most importantly, ‘What scenes do you shoot tomorrow? Do you need my input?’”

Actress Ciera Payton attends the Black Rebirth Collective event at Nate Holden Performing Arts Center on January 18, 2020 in Los Angeles, California | Robin L Marshall/Getty Images
Actress Ciera Payton attends the Black Rebirth Collective event at Nate Holden Performing Arts Center on January 18, 2020 in Los Angeles, California | Robin L Marshall/Getty Images

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Wendy Williams teared up while interviewing Ciera Payton

At one point in the interview Payton discusses her father and how he helped her with her role. She also mentioned that, like Williams, he’s a Cancer.

It was clear on Williams’ face that getting to interview the actor who played her and having her story finally coming to life on screen got the better of her. “Oh, how we’ve waited for this day!” Williams said with her voice shaking and tears in her eyes.

Given Payton’s resemblance of Williams in her face, it might have been possible that Williams was overwhelmed at the idea of having a daughter who looked like her, as the biopic revealed that she gave birth to a stillborn daughter decades ago. Having Payton play her and seeing a young girl who looks like her, then, was a full circle moment for the iconic talk show host.