Lil Mama Keke Palmer Drew SidoraThe Source Magazine caught up with Keke Palmer who plays Chilli in VH1’s “CrazySexyCool,” biopic, which airs today. 

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Palmer has been a huge TLC and Chilli fan her whole life, so she was excited when she first heard about the “CrazySexyCool” project, but initially Chilli and T-Boz were looking for unknown actors. They eventually changed their minds and called Keke in for the audition and cast her in the role. Chilli’s life story is full of adversity and Palmer wanted to make sure she captured all of the emotions. Palmer also said that it was fun to play out the romantic storyline on screen, with Evan Ross who plays Dallas Austin.


(Videography by Shameer Khan (@shameernyc))

Lil’ Mama said that her uncle told her she should try out for the role of Left Eye, so her mentor MC Lyte helped her get the audition. Lil’ Mama ended up proving herself with a strong acting debut. She said the highlight of filming was the the scenes where TLC opened for MC Hammer. She says this was the first time, her, Keke and Drew performed as a trio and to top it off the stadium was empty (attendees were later filled in via CGI). They said it was a fun experience and a great work out. To prepare for the performing, singing and dancing Chilli and T-Boz put the girls through TLC Bootcamp for almost 2 weeks.

Drew Sidora who plays T-Boz, said it was surreal to be a part of the film, but also feels like it was meant to be. T-Boz had struggled with Sickle Cell and Drew had been a spokesperson for a Sickle Cell organization in Illinois for 8 years and her dad is a pediatrician. Also, her and T-Boz are from the midwest and are the same sign – Taurus.

We spoke with Keke at a party celebrating, her cover of Fuzion Magazine at Tenjune.

Q: What do you admire about Chilli?

Keke: I admire her sparkle, she’s just such an open and youthful spirit, even after knowing her story and finding out so much about that happened to her – she went through a lot of stuff – and she was still able to remain so bright and un-jaded, that’s what I loved the most.

Q: Can you speak about recreating the music videos like “Scrubs,” “Waterfalls,” “Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg.” They were spot on!

Keke: Yes, it was incredible, it was like a dream come true to be sitting there doing things that I saw as a kid growing up and never imagining that I would be a part of it in any way, other than just a fan, you know watching it on the screen, so to be a part of the movie, and then to be reenacting the videos it’s like “Woah!”

Q: Tell us about working with Lil’ Mama and Drew Sidora.

Keke: So much fun working with them, you know I always say, we all had the same goal coming into the movie and that brought us so close together. We had unbelievable chemistry that was created during the making of this film.

The party was presented by Crumbled Thoughts, Dr. Miracle’s, Elasta QP, Glamorous Chicks Cosmetics, Mega Growth, Miss Jessie’s, LAMIK Beauty, Smoke Drinks, Toy Closet NYC and Tres Chic Cupcakes.

Today Keke also released her new single “Work Like You Love Me” produced by Bangladesh,who is executive producing her new album. She has been working with him for the past few months to record new material.

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“CrazySexyCool:  The TLC Story” Premieres  today on VH1 Monday, October 21st, 2013 at 9:00 PM ET.

The stars of the film posed for a photo with TLC’s June 1992 The Source Magazine cover. 

Lil' Mama plays Lisa "Left Eye," Lopes, Keke Palmer plays Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas and Drew Sidora plays Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins in  VH1's "CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story."

Lil’ Mama plays Lisa “Left Eye,” Lopes, Keke Palmer plays Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas and Drew Sidora plays Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins in VH1’s “CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story.”