Inspired by the true story of the titular character, BET+’s ‘God’s Grace: The Sheila Johnson Story’ is a biographical drama movie that follows Sheila Johnson whose entire life turns upside down when she discovers that she has stage four metastatic breast cancer. Apart from the mental and personal setback that she faces upon the revelation of the deadly disease, she is also forced to quit her reputed Air Force career at the age of 43. Experiencing cancer firsthand allows her to empathize with other patients of the same, which gives her the idea of starting an advocacy group.
This idea of hers is encouraged and supported by her family and friends, allowing her to turn it into reality. Soon, she established the said advocacy group that empowers and supports all Black men and women suffering from the same condition. Given the interesting use of locations, including a hospital and several outdoor sites, the audience is likely to wonder where exactly ‘God’s Grace: The Sheila Johnson Story’ was filmed. If you are one such curious soul, allow us to fill you in on all the details regarding the same!
Where Was God’s Grace: The Sheila Johnson Story Filmed?
‘God’s Grace: The Sheila Johnson Story’ was filmed in Georgia, especially in and around Atlanta. The principal photography for the biopic reportedly got underway in April 2023 and continued for several weeks, before wrapping up in May of the same year. Now, without wasting any time, let’s traverse through all the specific locations that make an appearance in the BET+ film!
The shooting for all the pivotal sequences of ‘God’s Grace: The Sheila Johnson Story’ took place in the city of Atlanta, the capital of Georgia and the county seat of Fulton County. From the looks of it, the production team turned various streets, neighborhoods, and establishments into film sets in order to shoot several important scenes for the drama film. Sheila Johnson, on whose life the BET+ movie is based, sat down with Black Doctor in October 2023 and talked in detail about many aspects of the film.
Johnson was asked about her experience working on the project, to which she replied, “…Charmin Lee is the director, and she is phenomenal. I went for a day in Atlanta for filming and everyone was so nice and gave me space to absorb everything – even to cry and hold dear the movie to my heart. It was an emotional day because I was literally seeing parts of my life played out on a set…” Moreover, what makes Atlanta an ideal filming site for a movie like ‘God’s Grace: The Sheila Johnson Story’ is the fact that the capital city is considered to be a hub for Black filmmakers.
God’s Grace: The Sheila Johnson Story Cast
In the portrayal of Sheila Johnson, Demetria McKinney impresses many viewers while elevating the overall quality of ‘God’s Grace: The Sheila Johnson Story.’ Widely recognized for her role in TBS’ ‘Tyler Perry’s House of Payne,’ the talented actor is also known for her reprising and key roles in ‘The Rickey Smiley Show,’ ‘Saints & Sinners,’ ‘Superstition,’ and ‘A House Divided.’ Besides TV shows, she has various film roles to her name, including ‘Kirk Franklin’s A Gospel Christmas,’ ‘Coins Forever,’ ‘A Stone Cold Christmas,’ and ‘Sons 2 the Grave.’
Accompanying McKinney in the BET+ production in supporting yet important roles are a bunch of other talented actors — Michael Beach as Dillard, Amber Reign Smith as Janaia, Deja Dee as Adriene, Bonita Brisker as Pastor Lewis, Contessa Metcalfe as Dr. Shepherd, Shavonia Jones as Tanya, Jael Roberson as Debra, and Erin Dangler as Dr. Kennedy. Furthermore, while Drew Sidora portrays Jasmine, DeVon Franklin assumes the role of Jackson in the biographical movie.