FAMU Alum Chris Gees works behind the scenes and on screen in “Wendy Williams: The Movie.”
Florida A&M University (FAMU) alumni Will Packer and Chris Gees play key roles in “Wendy Williams: The Movie,” which debuts on Lifetime on Saturday, January 30.
Packer, whose movies include “Think Like a Man Too”, “Straight Outta Compton”, “Girls Trip”, and “The Photograph”, is the executive producer of “Wendy Williams: The Movie,” which depicts the life and trials of the radio announcer-turned-talk-show-host.
Gees, who was known as Chris Griffin when he double majored and earned his bachelor’s in music and theatre at FAMU in 2004, served as Glam department head, head of department for hair and had an on-camera role.
Appearing in the movie had symbolic significance for Gees. He received his big break on “The Wendy Williams Talk Show” in recognition of his work as a stylist for his client, Omarosa Manigault. Since then, he has styled the hair of Beyoncé, Tori Spelling, Doug E. Fresh, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Lisa Rena, Tyra Banks and others.
Among his other movie credits, Gees served as head of department for “Merry Liddle Christmas Wedding” starring Kelly Rowland, Disney’s “A Wrinkle in Time” by Ava Duvernay and starring Oprah Winfrey and Beyoncé’s “Homecoming” and “Lemonade” as key hairstylist.
“With more than 10 years of experience as a celebrity stylist and more than 20 years in the industry as a whole, this was a wonderful way to open the door to take my career to the next level,” said Gees, a native of Philadelphia.
While at FAMU, Gees was active in the FAMU Concert Choir, the FAMU Gospel Choir, and the FAMU Connection and other organizations. On the Tallahassee campus, his passion for hair and make-up blossomed at he provided hair and makeup services for several on-campus organizations.
“This is great news to hear about Chris and the progress that he’s making in the industry. It’s good to know the foundation that was laid for him here continues to propel his career,” said Luther D. Wells, associate director of the FAMU Essential Theatre, who directed Gees when he was a cast member of the FAMU Connection. “I’m especially ecstatic about this new connection to alum Will Packer, and what may lie ahead as he continues to navigate the terrain of Hollywood.”
On the set of “Wendy Williams: The Movie” was the first time Gees worked with fellow Rattler and movie producer Packer.
“It reminded me of the work ethic and education that was instilled in us by the entire community of staff and students at FAMU,” he said. “Against all odds, we’ve continued to work hard to achieve our dreams and make our fellow FAMU Rattlers proud.”
In addition to being a celebrity stylist, Gees developed CannaCare by Chris Gees, a product that promotes hair growth, healthy scalp and luxurious hair. He launched the line during FAMU Homecoming 2018.
Actress Ciera Payton, who played the lead character in the movie, said Gees brought something very special to the set.
“He’s beyond gifted and I’ll so cherish working with Chris,” she said. “FAMU should be immensely proud of Chris Gees, for he well represents his alma mater and his profession with the highest esteem.”