Crystal-Lee Naomi knows how to play intimidating women; she’s a scene-stealer as vengeful Jasmine Borders in Tyler Perry’s hit series Sistas. But her role in the Tubi thriller Twisted House Sitter takes crazy to another level as her character Alicia tries to take over another woman’s life, leading to a fateful confrontation between the two.
I spoke to Crystal-Lee about the making of the movie, playing unhinged without going too far, and how her Twisted House Sitter role compares to Jasmine’s vendetta against her ex-husband Gary and Andi on Sistas. Get the dish in our interview before streaming the movie for free on Tubi.
Brittany Frederick: What hooked you about Twisted House Sitter when you read the script?
Crystal-Lee Naomi: I kind of love villains. (laughs) They’re fun and they’re so interesting. One thing I really love about them is how I just feel like they’re misunderstood. I feel like a movie is presented, a hero is presented and a villain is presented, and you like the hero, [you] dislike the villain. This one is written by Daniel Whedon and it’s kind of the villain who is the hero. That is what really challenged me. I really love that part about it.
BF: But there’s a balance in these films between being so crazy as to be scary, but not so crazy that you end up as a caricature. How did you approach playing Alicia?
CLN: Watching it I was like, “I could have been way crazier than that.” That was pretty tame. I thought it could have been way crazier. Again, I just love villains, so I don’t think a villain can go too far. A lot of people messaged me and were like, thank God I know the real you and you’re not actually crazy in real life, because you did a really good job pretending to be crazy. But I don’t think there’s too far you can go, especially with Alicia. She’s all in. She wants Morgan’s life.
BF: Obviously your relationship with Jennifer Freeman, who plays Morgan, is totally different from your on-screen relationship. How fun is it to get along with someone off-camera and then have to go and do these horrible things on-camera?
CLN: I was laughing internally because Jennifer is so sweet. She is so bubbly, so fun, she’s always dancing, always having a good time; she’s just full of bubbles and good energy and vibes. So yeah, chasing her around set, screaming her name on set was a little odd. But I actually thought that it worked because I decided you know what, she’s so bubbly, maybe that’s what’s driving me to chase her. It was pretty interesting, the dynamic of that, but I did have a lot of fun.
BF: It’s fun that you’re doing Twisted House Sitter around the same time as Sistas, where Jasmine’s come apart after her divorce and tried to kill people. How would you compare this role to that one?
CLN: There’s obviously similarities. It’s funny; someone was like, I hope Alicia doesn’t run out of knives like Jasmine ran out of bullets. (laughs) I think if you’re a Sistas fan and you love all that kind of vengeful energy that Jasmine has, Alicia is the extension of that. She’s going the next step with it.
Jasmine is not afraid to show anyone that she’s pissed; she’s a woman scorned and she’s exacting her revenge. Alicia is different. She is envious and wants what Morgan has, so she’s kind of hiding at first and eventually she unleashes her real intentions. They’re very similar, but Alicia is a step going further than Jasmine, because there is that conscious effort to hide what you’re doing and then let it all hang out towards the end.
BF: Was there a moment that clicked for you in playing Alicia where you found that groove or she just sunk in for you?
CLN: There is a scene in the movie right when my character inserts herself into someone else’s house. She takes a bath, and there’s a moment where her eyes are closed and then all of a sudden she just opens them [in] good horror-thriller fashion. The way I saw that scene reading it was like, this is Alicia’s baptism. She’s baptized in this bathtub. She goes in as herself and she has that bath, and that’s when she decides “I’m taking over this bitch’s life and that’s that.” I love that part and I love that choice of the film.
SPOILER ALERT: This portion of the interview contains Twisted House Sitter spoilers.
BF: What were your favorite parts of the movie? Anything that you thought was particularly fun?
CLN: I really liked the scene near the end where Alicia is in her hotel room and she’s no longer in the mansion and doesn’t have access to all these things and she takes off her wig. It was a really cool, dramatic moment. We filmed that all night. The sun was up and we were still filming it. The director wouldn’t let us wrap that night until we got that shot. I’m so glad he did that because I love the shot we got. That is the shot and I’m proud of that one.
Twisted House Sitter is now streaming exclusively on Tubi.
Article content is (c)2020-2021 Brittany Frederick and may not be excerpted or reproduced without express written permission by the author. Follow me on Twitter at @BFTVTwtr, on Instagram at @BFTVGram.