From Book to TV, Meet the Cast of Iris Bolling’s The Heart!

For those who enjoy following the saga of JD and Tracy Harrison in The Heart Series novels written by Iris Bolling, you are in for a treat. The Heart Series is coming to television. On Saturday, February 15, 2014, on the CW-Richmond, The Heart will air it’s first episode.

iris the heart Creator and Executive Director, Iris Bolling, brought together a talented team of cast and crew to bring the characters from the award-winning novels to life. The first season is based on book one of the series, “Once You’ve touched the Heart.”o enjoy following the saga of JD and Tracy Harrison in The Heart Series novels written by Iris Bolling, you are in for a treat. The Heart Series is coming to television. On Saturday, February 15, 2014, on the CW-Richmond, The Heart will air it’s first episode.

Funding for this dream came into fruition, on a wing and a prayer with Iris investing profits from her novels and a little help from the Kickstarter program. For six weekends, (that’s right…six weekends) talented cast and crew conveged on Richmond, Virginia to film the six, one-hour long episodes of The Heart.

“I hope that my projects sparks other authors independent spirit.”- Iris Bolling



Nikkea Smithers-Producer

Seeing a wonderful project like The Heart come to live was the most gratifying part of this project. I have believed in this author and her work since day one. Knowing the heartbeat behind it had me excited to come to set everyday, beating the sun to do this work. I couldn’t have asked to be blessed with a greater opportunity.

As the producer, I had to sometimes wear the hat of enforcer. This meant when the cast saw me coming, if they heard me say, “can I talk to you for a minute,” they knew it was business time. We had fun on set but when it was time to work, I took the difficult messages or task and didn’t ask questions when it came time to execute.

In addition to working on seasons 2-6 of The Heart, I am also artistic director for Lyric Ave a freestyle performance group. I also manage a very talented R&B artist by the name of Dewon who can also be seen in The Heart as “Turk”. And just incase my life isn’t busy enough, throw in the eight books I’m currently writing, my exclusive jewelry line and books.


Meet the Cast

troy michel-AshleyTroy Michel as Ashley Harrison

What is one of your character most memorable scenes?

Ashley Harrison is a very colorful character. She’s fun, outgoing, and full of life. Always smiling. I think her most memorable moment is when she breaks down her walls and reveals her sensitivity and vulnerability that is masked by her personality. She shows a side that no one has ever seen before and proves that she is not just a superficial woman with a pretty face; she has layers.

 What was life like on the set?

Life on set was extraordinary.. A whirlwind! The cast really gelled and we became a family very quickly. There were always jokes and pranks. Spirits were high and laughter was abundant. Aside from the fun, we encouraged and motivated one another. We all knew that we we in on something special. With the same vision, we all wanted this project to be the best it could be and we pushed each other for greatness. I was truly inspired by the work ethic and drive of my cast mates! I thoroughly enjoyed working with everyone.

 Can you share with us your next project?

My next project? Graduating college in May! Go, me! Lol .. I am actually launching a lipstick line in the spring! In addition to my work as a video journalist and radio show host, I plan to continue acting and pursuing my dreams!


richardRichard Jackson as Brian Thompson 

What is the importance of Brian’s and JD’s friendship?

Brian  and JD’s relationship is important because Brian has had JD’s back since day one. They are old friends and their bond is already established. Sometimes Brian can be a bit overbearing, but that is just the law enforcement side of him that he brings to the table. He is always skeptical of all people that come into JD’s life including Tracy. Brian will always do what is necessary to handle any people or problems that pose a threat to JD’s destiny.

 How do you see your character evolving?

Brian will evolve emotionally. He can be cold, but that’s just the nature of his work. He has taken lives and seen the worst of humanity. But, there will come a time when Brian will have to learn to trust. He will have to learn about that thing we call Love and how it will ultimately save him from a life of internal torment.

What projects do you have on the horizon?

I just wrapped a commercial for Pay pal and I will be completing a series of videos I host for Mead West Vaco. I plan on taking a trip to LA in a few weeks to visit family and take some time off before I come back to Virginia. Once I get back I’ll be focused on promoting the Heart series and gearing up for season 2.


Cruz Sherman as Douglas Hyton

cruz realHow does your character influence the plot of story?

Douglas is very loyal to his long time friend JD Harrison. He will protect JD, along with everyone in JD’s circle. Douglas is the X-factor in this story.

Was it hard for you to get into character?

No, it wasn’t. It is very uncanny regarding the way our lives parallel. It is though, Iris Bolling found me around all my life and then wrote this part for me. I believe, I it was destiny for me to play the role of Douglas Hyton.

What is next of your hit list?

I want to continue to perfect my craft, continue to be successful with my Media, Marketing and PR Firm and finally be ready when season two of “The Heart” goes into production; bringing even more persona and intrigue to the character of Douglas Hylton.

Want to learn more about The Heart? 


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