Cast of the movie ‘Couch Party’ discuss their roles during meet & greet

Cast of the movie ‘Couch Party’ discuss their roles during meet & greet
September 18
10:23 2023

Last weekend the cast from the film “Couch Party” came together at one of the most popular spots from the movie, Chilly Philly. 

“Couch Party,” which was written and directed by North Carolina native Nachela Knox and distributed by Homestead Entertainment, was filmed entirely on location here in Winston-Salem. The movie is a comedy about a young woman named Briella who flees to the small town of Maple Creek in hopes of escaping her abusive husband. However, Briella and her new found friend Joy quickly realize that their problems are just beginning when they’re gifted an old couch that has a unique kind of magic – when men sit on it, they immediately fall into a coma. 

Briella is played by Kenyetta Cook. When discussing the film and her role, Cook said after reading the script she felt like she could really relate to Briella’s “awkwardness.” 

“My friends tell me all the time that I play awkward roles well because I’m kinda awkward sometimes,” Cook laughed. “I like playing the awkward nerdy girl with glasses who can’t dance and that’s what spoke to me when I read the script.” 

Joy, Briella’s roommate and best friend, is played by LaTonja Lawson. Lawson described Joy as someone who can be shallow at times, but still has a good heart. When discussing the possibility of a sequel to “Couch Party,” Cook and Lawson said they could see Briella and Joy linking up again in the future. 

“I could definitely see Joy trying to do her Hollywood thing and Briella coming to visit and they go on some crazy adventure,” Lawson said. 

Several supporting characters in the film have really caught on with viewers as well, including Joe, who is played by Jon Blaq; Mama Lu, who is played by comedian Carla Simpson; Mary Sue, who is played by Latonya Simms; and Aaron, who is played by Bakari Brown. 

Joe, the maintenance man, is the comic relief in the movie and he lives up to that. Several people have even called for Joe to have his own spin-off. When talking about Joe, Blaq said because he’s done a lot of dramatic roles, this role took a lot of practice and preparation. 

“I do a lot of street roles and dramatic roles so this was the most nerve-racking and most preparation I’ve done,” Blaq said. “I think sometimes when people think of comedy you just have to be funny, but this is probably the most work I’ve put into a character.”

Simms’ character Mary Sue also provided comic relief throughout the movie. Although Mary Sue’s role seems small early in the film when she’s working at Chilly Philly, she becomes more involved as the movie progresses. 

Simms said what caught her attention about Mary Sue when she read the script was the range the character showed.

“The diversity in the characterization is what caught my eye about her,” Simms continued. “And I really had room to play with it. I always follow the script, but I put some personality with it.”

Mama Lu is one of the first people Briella meets when she moves to Maple Creek. Simpson said when she heard about the role of Mama Lu, she immediately knew it was perfect for her.

“When Nachela told me about it I was all for it,” Simpson said. “I like playing zany characters and she told me what she wanted and I just went for it. I’m glad everybody liked it, though I’m loving the feedback.”

Although Brown’s character Aaron, Briella’s ex-husband, is depicted as the heel in “Couch Party,” he is also in some of the funniest scenes in the movie. Brown, who is a retired U.S. Army drill sergeant and drill sergeant instructor, he said what intrigued him most about Aaron was the range of emotions he showed in the script and he wanted to bring those emotions out. 

“I could really see the levels of emotion that Aaron went through when his wife Briella left him. He went from his normal kind of alpha male self to confusion, to being hurt and then sad, just all these emotions,” Brown said. 

Since the movie made its debut, Chilly Philly, a frozen treat shop located on Knollwood Street, has also gained some notoriety. The shop is owned by Philadelphia natives Frank and Wendy Robinson. Wendy said she was looking on Facebook one day and saw a post Nachela made about needing a restaurant to shoot a movie. 

“I just went to her inbox and said I don’t  have a restaurant but I have a dessert shop and we met a few days later and it just clicked,” she said. 

Frank, who is a pastor and professor at Wake Forest University, said shortly after the movie was released they started receiving phone calls from friends and family back home. 

“It still blows our minds because we first found out it was released when we got a text from a friend who said he saw our store in a movie,” he said. “So we’ve been fortunate and it’s really been an honor.” 

When discussing her first feature film Knox, who is the founder and CEO of GoGetHer Productions, said although most of the cast of “Couch Party” hadn’t worked together before, they quickly got to know each other and everyone became like one big family. 

“None of my cast members really knew each other and this was my first time working with a lot of them,” Knox said. “When filming you’re around the same people 12 hours a day, for multiple days … and after you do a scene over and over and over again, you really do get to know each other.”

Knox said now that filming is over and the movie is out, it feels good to finally be able to celebrate all the hard work that went into making the film come to life. 

“It feels great just being back with my cast and now we’re actually celebrating we’re not working,” she said. “We’re celebrating the work we did, it’s out in the world and people are talking about it.”

“Couch Party” can be viewed by downloading the Tubi streaming service app to your TV or other device. For more information about the film or GoGetHer Productions, visit 

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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