CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story: Keke Palmer On TLC’s Message Of Empowerment

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Do you feel like this is a performance where you have to prove something?
I definitely think so, because I’m playing someone that so many people love. I’ve played a real person before but I’ve never played a real superstar before. She’s a superstar so there’s a lot of people that have expectations about the way she looks, the way she acts, the way she talks, and so as an actor — not only me but the other girls as well — really want to give people something they can be proud of.

What’s you’re earliest memory of TLC?
Earliest initial memory? Probably “Creep.”

Who do you think was the fourth member of TLC? Other than the three members, who is the person that’s most responsible for their success?
Dallas Austin. He would have to be the fourth member of TLC because he was pretty genius. And Babyface, he was a pretty big creative force within the group.

How important is it to shed light on the personal lives of TLC?
I think it’s really important because people know their musical lives–that’s all we saw, but I think if people knew what they were really going through during the time that they were on top, they would have just a better respect and understanding of them.

And that goes for the negative things, too. Are there any misconceptions that you want this film to clear up?
I think it’s very important because it lets people know the real truth. A lot of people thought that Lisa was just crazy. They didn’t realize that there was allegedly abuse involved, and she was going through a lot. And I think that’s what’s important, not only in the movie and with these women but in life in general. You never know what someone went through, you never know why they’re the way that they are, so I think when [people] see this they’ll have a better understanding of her and then also understand why she was so gifted in her expression. That was the only way she could find release from the pain and the hurt and all those things.

What do you think is the greatest gift that TLC gave to music and to female groups specifically?
Empowerment. I mean they started that whole movement. They were grown women first of all, and even when it was sexual, it gave women the power versus putting them in the weak position. They empowered themselves in a way that had never been done before. So you can take it any way you want to take it, but that movement, the way that they dressed, they were getting what they wanted to get and they were proud of it. I think that you can thank them for that.

Will there ever be a group that will be able to deliver the same message?
I think there always will be other people that can deliver the same message, but everybody’s message won’t be delivered in the same way. You have other great girl groups–you can think of Destiny’s Child, Spice Girls, but it wasn’t done in the way that TLC did it. The only people that can do it the way that TLC did it is TLC.

Catch the premiere of CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story on Monday, October 21 at 9 PM ET/PT.

[Photo Credit: Blake Tyers/VH1]