Lunden DeLeon plays Brenda Sanford, mother of Kenny and Labareis “Rilla” Sanford in the Amazon Prime drama “Turnt.” Think Love & Hip Hop on the Silverscreen. The Atlanta-based, urban film is packed with an all-black cast of celebrity cameos and leads from Torrei Hart to Nicole “Hoopz” Alexander. Turnt follows main character “Rilla” and his career in the music industry following the death of his brother, Kenny right before his “big break.” Viewers are left to question whether Rilla will turn his life around, and Brenda will endure further heartache. A sequel, “Super Turnt,” is set to release in 2021; and is highly anticipated.
There’s one, central, underlying theme to all of DeLeon’s work. Whether on screen or at the ground level, it is evident that community is the heart of DeLeon’s journey. “We’re the Millers,” “Sweet Home Carolina,” and “Vital Signs” are a few of the titles on her reel; DeLeon is super intentional about the roles she chooses. For her, it’s about impact.
When it comes to “Turnt,” DeLeon “couldn’t give it all away;” however, she recommends the story for Women for the Culture, as it depicts “women persevering and a story of love.” Yet, in her everyday life, many may not know that she sits on the City Council in South Carolina… community requested.
DeLeon lived the rags to riches story; homeless in Los Angeles until she was poured into by her good sis/roommate at the time to attend castings for roles. She now, pays it forward by making an immediate stamp in her local community, and she says “it doesn’t end there.”
Local, city council plays an important role in the ways in which individuals communities are run and cared for. DeLeon says he work includes direct attention to flooding, housing, community improvements, and basic, real-life human issues that affect her neighbors. She is confident “there is a light at the end of the tunnel,” as we see a rise in public figures and celebrities standing for change. She says, “there are not many women of color or people of color in positions of power, to minister directly to and be a voice for the community.”
It is interesting to see, from the outside looking in, a woman who seems to have made it in terms of her acting career; yet, stand fulfilled through her purposeful community work and contributions.
As we gear up for “Super Turnt,” keep up with Lunden at www.ActressPolitician.com; and on instagram and twitter @LundenDeLeon. There are many ways in which to answer the call and be an instrument of and for change.