True crime fans unite! As the one and only Vivica A. Fox hosts one of FilmRise’s latest projects, The Interrogation Room! The true crime episodic series The Interrogation Room premieres Saturday July 1 with the acclaimed actress, director, and producer now adding ‘true crime host’ to her never-ending list of on-screen credits.
Throughout her career, Fox has starred in her fair share of crime dramas, think Set it Off, Motives, and of course, the Tarantino classic, Kill Bill. Though, the jump from scripted to unscripted crimes can definitely have an impact on a performer, especially when you’re assuming the role as host of the show, the true crime content mill shows no signs of stopping. So when Fox was offered this opportunity, she was excited, as a true crime fan herself, to get an inside look at what it’s really like to be in the room where it happens. While speaking about her experiences shooting the episodes and the emotional toll that it took on her, she also expresses gratitude for the plethora of projects she’s been in and sharing what to expect with future series and movies that are in the works for her.
Culturess: I already had chills listening to your voice in the narration. I watched the first episode and I was like, “She’s perfect. This is the perfect role.”
Vivica A. Fox: Thank you. Thank you. I have been wanting to get back into my detective days because, I don’t know if you know, I starred in a series called Missing, years ago on Lifetime and I did three years of that show and I was like, “You know what, I want to play a kick ass detective again.” And boom, here comes The Interrogation Room and me hosting this show. That is just gripping; And ten episodes of it as well.
Culturess: I was going to say, you’re obviously no stranger to crime and drama. You’ve done scripted projects and you spoke a little bit to this, but jumping into a real life interrogation- based show, it must have been kind of jarring. So what was it like to do that after so many years?
Vivica A. Fox: Surprising; challenging; fulfilling. I taped this in London, the interrogation room. So I got to go over to London, East London, and we were banging out these episodes. I think we finished a day early just because they were so surprised that I got the lingo. Just like you said, the narration of it all, they were very happy with that. They were like, okay, this is working because you never know, but the good thing for me is that hosting has fallen into my lap recently with me. I did Cocktails with Queens [on FOX Soul] every Monday, hosting the show with the four ladies. Then, I hosted The Wendy Williams Show with Carson Daly. So the whole teleprompter reading and being comfortable in front of the camera and narration and things like that. And I did voiceover work for years too, so it was a good fit for me and I really enjoyed it; But the whole detective element of it, I had to watch a couple of my favorite true crime shows. I watch Hill Harper, Donnie Wahlberg, those kind of people, just to get the whole seriousness of this because it wasn’t “Hey, see of today what’s going on? Let’s talk hot topics.
Culturess: [Laughs] I know you from that, so totally! It was so cool to see you switch gears and I know for a show like this, you had to work with experts kind of hand in hand. What was it like working with them and can you share a few takeaways from that?
Vivica A. Fox: Oh gosh, it was really cool. I had one of the detectives, he came by the set and he was also a part of the series as well and he was very enthusiastic because when you solve a case and you get justice for families and for loved ones. It’s really fulfilling. So he kind of gave me a couple of behind the scenes of what it was like really interrogating some of the criminals so it was fun. It really was.
Culturess: Obviously this show is like a true crime fan’s dream, they’re going to be obsessed with this. For someone who might be a casual viewer or a casual watcher, what do you think they can expect to gain from this series?
Vivica A. Fox: What’s beautiful about The Interrogation Room is that you get to go inside the interrogation room to see how the detectives solve a crime, get a confession, or have enough evidence to take it to trial. Their tactics, the way that when you see them move in and they get in the person’s space, that they’re making the person feel more comfortable, like they’re their friend and they want to talk to them. I found that tactic to be really interesting, that when I was when we were watching the episodes, I was like, “Oh, he’s going in for the kill. Look there. He’s got their trust. Got him.” Just the physicality of getting a person to feel comfortable enough to not lie and to tell the truth. I found that to be the most interesting aspect of The Interrogation Room. Then it kind of lets you know, “Well, if you ever get in trouble, don’t do that. When he starts moving in, you better back up.”
Culturess: I know with all of these cases, they’re very sensitive. Even in the first episode, it deals with the murder of an eight-year-old. So what was your process going in, mentally? It’s a lot to kind of process before you actually shoot the episode.
Vivica A. Fox: That one brought me to tears. That one made me really sad, especially when we were doing the narration and we had to go back over it, and I actually got to see how the episode would unfold, that it just was like, “Wow, you stole that innocent child’s life, over what?” So that one was the most emotional reaction that I had of the ten episodes. Then the young black man being killed, over playing your music too loud, something as simple as that. That some jerk decided that he’s going to shoot into the back of a car and drive away and go home and have pizza and have a bottle of wine. The father of that episode really touched my heart that his son had a bright future, that he was like, “I’ll miss hanging out with them, talking to him, playing basketball, watching sports with them.” Let’s you know how a split decision, a crazy decision, not thinking what your mind changes so many lives; But mainly it was the father of that episode, that he was like “I’m going to carry my son’s name on. I’m going to continue to make sure that things like this don’t happen and that there is justice”. That was really touching to me, too.
Culturess: Yeah, definitely. It’s nice to hear that because I think viewers, like I said, both who are really invested in these stories and those who might just be watching, maybe because you’re in it, they really are going to feel a lot of emotions. I know I did from watching the episode. Finally, what other projects do you have coming up?
Vivica A. Fox: I know. I’ve literally done six projects back to back in the last couple of months. I’m so blessed. I’m having really one of the best times in my life ever. I’m having the best week ever. Besides The Interrogation Room coming out on Roku. I’ve also got another movie dropping on Friday to be called Twisted House Sitter 2 [Sequel to the 2021 film Twisted House Sitter]. It’s a thriller. It’s kind of like Single White Female meets Fatal Attraction meets Devil Wears Prada starring myself and Crystal-Lee Naomi. I’m headed to New York tomorrow to do press for The Interrogation Room, and then when I come back on Friday, I’m going to have a big premiere party screening event for Twisted House Sitter 2. I just wrapped a film with Jussie [Smollett], which I can’t tell you a whole lot on, that we just wrapped a wonderful project together that I produced and Jussie directed as well. So I’ve got that. I’ve got two Lifetime Christmas movies coming out. So I’m back with Lifetime. Everybody’s like, “Where you been at?” and I’m like “Doing a whole bunch of other stuff.”
Vivica A. Fox (CONT’D): Also I have my directorial debut, my full length directorial debut coming out with The First Lady of BMF: The Tonesa Welch Story. So that’s going to be dropping in October. So you all will be seeing me a lot. Get ready!
Culturess: Yes! I’m excited.
Vivica A. Fox: I am, too, because I love all of the different variations of the projects, that it’s not me playing the same role, and also that I’m behind the camera as well. I did a short before that was 14 minutes, but the difference of 14 minutes and an hour and a half, that’s a big difference. This is my full length directorial debut.
Culturess: This is going to be great. I’m so excited. I’m so happy to hear that you’re so busy and I think everyone’s going to be excited to see you in 2023. Come on, this is the year!
Vivica A. Fox: Yes. I’ve been waiting to have this moment for a long time and I never ever thought that being in my fifties I would be so busy; Because there used to be a time in Hollywood that a woman would be put out to pasture, that she would be told that she no longer has worth; And for so many projects to have me involved with, it just really makes me happy.
If you’re looking for a sneak peak into The Interrogration Room, check out a teaser trailer of the first episode of the series on Film Rise’s official YouTube channel:
Film Rise’s The Interrogation Room premieres July 1. You can stream on The Roku Channel, Amazon Freevee, Tubi, Pluto TV, Samsung TV Plus, and FilmRise’s own free streaming apps.