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'Girl From Compton' turns Cincinnati into Southern California

Posted: 8:30 AM, Jul 23, 2016
Updated: 2016-07-23 12:30:24Z

CINCINNATI -- Streets of Hyde Park and Middletown transform into scenes from California for Lifetime’s “Girl From Compton,” a movie that’s wrapping up filming in the Tri-State.

The movie chronicles R&B artist Michel’le, whose story executive producer Leslie Greif says wasn’t told during last year’s blockbuster “Straight Outta Compton.”

The Lifetime channel film will follow Michel’le’s early life in Compton to her tumultuous relationship in the early 1990s with N.W.A member and Death Row Records founder Dr. Dre.

“The story of Michel’le is something that I think is an inspirational story,” Greif said while on set of the movie on July 22.

Greif met the artist while filming the VH1 series “R&B Divas.”

“I got to know her. She’s a sweet, beautiful, angelic person, but you didn’t really know her,” he said. “I didn’t know the world that she had come from. And, as the series unfolded, we learned the stories of (her) being married to Suge (Knight) and Dr. Dre. And you see ‘Straight Outta Compton’ and you realize, when you saw the film, there were not women in the film, not a woman’s story or something.”

The only women in the movie were really objectified, he said, but Michel’le’s story struck him.

“I felt, what better time, particularly in the climate today, with some of the strained race relations we have, with the women’s issues we have, and the political climate. Let’s tell stories of hope,” he said.

Movie production is in its final weeks, and although the Queen City has most recently been filling in as Chicago and New York City in films, Greif says they’ve been able to create a convincing Southern California.

“We were able to replicate a little area of Compton (in Hyde Park),” he said. “And I know what’s great about Cincinnati is that it can look like any place. They’re shooting New York here, in the old part. Thanks to your city, we were able to transform it not only into Compton, but into 1978 Compton.”

“Girl From Compton” is set to air on the Lifetime channel sometime this fall.