Born in Harvey, Illinois on Aug 26, 1993, Lauren Keyana Parker has been wowing audiences since the tender age of 9. Keke first received great acclaim when she starred as the title character in the sleeper hit Akeelah and the Bee, opposite actors Laurence Fishburne and Angela Bassett.

Keke followed that powerful performance with lead roles in The Longshots, Shrink and Joyful Noise. She’s also done voiceover work in animated features like Ice Age: Continental Drift, Winx Club: The Secret of the Lost Kingdom and Unstable Fables: Tortoise vs. Hare.

Here she talks about her latest outing as Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas in Crazy Sexy Cool: The TLC Story, a VH1 original movie.

Kam Williams: Hi Keke, thanks for another interview.
Keke Palmer: No problem, Kam. Glad to be here!

KW: What interested you in Crazy Sexy Cool? Were you a fan of TLC as a kid?
KP: Being a fan is exactly what made me want to do this film. I wanted to be a part of telling the story of a favorite group of mine.

KW: How did you prepare for the role? Is it hard to play a real-life person than a fictional character?
KP: I just watched a lot of old footage. I also spent a lot of time with Chilli and just observed her.

KW: How would you describe TLC’s legacy in one word?
KP: I don’t think there’s a word to describe it, really. They really inspired a generation of women to be confident go-getters.

KW: What message do you think people will take away from Crazy Sexy Cool?
KP: You can do anything as long as you don’t stop believing. When it is meant to be, it will be. You just have to follow your heart.

KW: What was the last book you read?
KP: Heaven is For Real.

KW: What was your best career decision?
KP: To pick projects that affect me.

KW: If you could have a superpower, which one would you choose?
KP: Teleportation.

KW: What key quality do you believe all successful people share?
KP: No real fear of limitations.

KW: If you had to choose another profession, what would that be?
KP: Hairstyling.

KW: With so many classic films being redone, is there a remake you’d like to star in?
KP: The Wiz!

KW: What advice do you have for anyone who wants to follow in your footsteps?
KP: Follow your heart’s truth with no need for personal gain other than the feeling produced when doing what you truly love.

KW: Thanks again for the time, Keke, and best of luck with all your endeavors.
KP: Thank you, Kam.

To see a trailer for Crazy Sexy Cool: The TLC Story, visit:

Airdates for Crazy Sexy Cool: The TLC Story:

Tuesday, November 05
4:00 PM ET/PT on VH1

Sunday, October 27
8:00 PM ET/PT on VH1

Wednesday, October 30
9:00 PM ET/PT on VH1

Kam Williams

Special to the AFRO