Vivica A. Fox on Why It’s Right to Love New ‘Wrong’ Lifetime Movies
Summer is heating up on Lifetime Movie Network with new installments of the Wrong film franchise to satisfy your guilty pleasure cravings.
Every Friday in July brings a new twisted tale to dig into, each produced by Vivica A. Fox. The actress, who is a constant in the movies, has enjoyed wearing hats in front of the camera and behind it collaborating alongside director/producer David DeCoteau and the Hybrid production company.
“We like to call them the ‘So Wrong It’s Right’ movie,” she said. “The Lifetime fan base loves these films. Viewers love having these movies to sit down on a Friday night or on a weekend and watch this marathon of movies.”
Before pouring that glass of wine and grabbing the remote, read as Fox dishes on these four made-for-TV originals and other hot topics.
Do you see an overarching theme that these films share?
Vivica A. Fox: It’s a fun mystery thriller with beautiful actors. They are popcorn and skin kind of movies. Some guys definitely going to walk through with a six-pack and a smile for the ladies to enjoy. The actors are familiar faces, so that’s the good part. Eric Roberts is part of the franchise, Jessica Morris. There is going to be a really good one coming out later called The Wrong Cheerleader where I got to work with Cristine Prosperi, who I did Bring It On: Worldwide #Cheersmack with in South Africa.
The fact we are doing The Wrong Cheerleader for Lifetime, it’s so wonderful to work with her again too. I feel kind of like Adam Sandler for Lifetime because Adam for the long time had these movies he did with his crew of actor[s. They all get together each year and make a couple of fun movies. Everyone knows each other. It’s like having your little acting family.
You have been in the industry for decades now and seen the evolution. In the era of women’s empowerment now, what is it like to be part of it?
It’s a wonderful time to be a female in Hollywood. It is a long time coming where they are trusting women to deliver quality process. There is no guessing of, “Can she deliver?,” or, “There is no place for her.” I found a wonderful home over at Lifetime, which is great for me because I do television shows and movies for them. My first big series I got to star in was called Missing. It was after the Kill Bill success. Lifetime was wonderful to open their arms and trust me for so long. We have such a wonderful history together.
I think back to a movie you were part of, Set It Off. When you see four women of color front and center on a movie poster, it was such a milestone moment.
I agree with you one hundred percent. I remember back in the day when we did Set It Off, the reason why it was such a success was because they were so surprised how good it was. People were like, “Oh yeah, four girls robbing a bank. I’m probably going to laugh at it.” They came out moved by the movie. They saw it over and over again. It literally became a cult classic.
I take my hat off to the director F. Gary Gray, who I just saw Men in Black: International and when his name came up I was like, “Oh my God!” We’re all just making major moves in Hollywood…He was very involved with taking the script, breaking it down, making sense of the characters and making them relatable. He told us, “Let’s make this make sense. Let’s not just make a movie, and it becomes a joke. We have an opportunity here to make something wonderful.” And we did. I got that work ethic watching that young man back in the day 20 years ago have that drive and dedication to making good films. He rubbed off on me.
Another avenue that has given actors an opportunity isEmpire. What were your thoughts when you heard Fox is making the next season its last?
Empire broke through a glass ceilings as well. The numbers, when they first came out was just unheard of. They were breaking records. I remember years ago when I was starting out as a young actress the feeling was, “Oh, African Americans can’t lead television shows. You won’t get the numbers.” Here 20 years later we are proving them wrong.
The show touches taboo subjects. You have the African American family that lives by their own rules where there is a gay son and gay marriage. They are talking about mental health issues, tackle taboos at times when Hollywood wants to have the happy Hollywood ending. This is ugly sometimes. It’s raw and real and in your face. I’m sad to know the next episodes will be the last, but they had their time and did good. I just feel like they are ready to move on to the next chapter. But trust me, we’re going to go out guns blazing. It’s going to be must-see TV.
Are we going to see you a lot for this final chapter?
Absolutely! Candace, that bougie b—- is coming back!
One of the things people respect about you is you’re not afraid to share your opinions and lend support to interests or opinions you believe in on social media. Whether it’s women’s basketball or everything going on in the news.
One thing that is very important to me is I’m a huge supporter of the WNBA. I put my money where my mouth is. I have The Vivica Fox Hair Collection that has been a sponsor for the Los Angeles Sparks for the past five seasons. I go to the games. I love seeing the girls and getting the arena filled, so that these girls who work just as hard as the guys do start getting equal pay too. They make a fraction of what the guys do. I realize the guys fill the arenas, etc. But I support the girls one hundred percent.
You were in the last season featuring now-President Donald Trump in the boardroom on The Celebrity Apprentice. When you see him now in office, how do you think everything has worked out?
I have been very vocal being disappointed with him dividing the country. The United States of America is one of the most powerful countries in the world. It breaks my heart to see the division that he has created.
I’m really hoping people pay attention this time because I think things got so comfortable with Barack Obama and Michelle being President and First Lady for those eight years. They thought we’d be good, and we really have to pay attention so we can get our country back on track. I say that for women, for a lot of causes. It breaks my heart to see migrants ripped away from their families because they are trying to find safety and security. There is a reason they want to come here.
We can do this in a more respectful manner instead of putting them in these prison-like conditions, having children sleep on floors and not providing basic human necessities. We’re a better country than that. I’m very vocal because I pay attention. I want to see our country where people can achieve their dreams just like it was a dream of his.
When we did Celebrity Apprentice, [Trump] was obsessed with running for the president of the United States. He was able to achieve that. He didn’t have any skills with politics. He was a businessman. That was one of the reasons I did the show. I had respect for him as a businessman. I wanted to show people that I could humble myself as a movie star and do the hard work and show people I’m a good businesswoman. But as president, I’m disappointed in him.
With the “Wrong” franchise being escapism TV, what’s your go-to for escaping from the rigors of the day?
When I want to get away, the jock in me comes out. I love basketball, tennis, football. I’m just a sports junkie. I can wake up to watch SportsCenter, but also politics for me too. I love watching my CNN, wonderful shows like Van Jones’ The Redemption Project and United Shades of America. For me, it’s sports and politics. That’s the other side of life.
The Wrong Stepmother, July 5, 8/7c, LMN
The Wrong Boy Next Door, July 12, 8/7c, LMN
The Wrong Mommy, July 19, 8/7c, LMN
The Wrong Tutor, July 26, 8/7c, LMN