VH1 announced Tuesday that Joyful Noise actress and singer KeKe Palmer has been cast to portray TLC member Rozanda “Chilli” Thomas. Rapper and “America’s Best Dance Crew” judge Lil Mama and Step Up actress Drew Sidora were previously reported to play late group member Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes and T-Boz, respectively.
“In association with that, [we’re] doing a 20th year anniversary package which will entail remixing some of the old hits, adding two new songs, going on tour,” T-Boz told Yahoo! Music in January. “So it will be a soundtrack to the movie and also an album.”
Palmer said she is excited to take on the role. “I am a true fan,” she said in a statement. “I love these ladies, and I always want to be proud of my work in any role that I do.”
Palmer recalled singing the group’s music when she was 6-years-old. “I would sing ‘No Scrubs’ over and over again to the point my parents would have to tell me to stop, but I never did. I had my little hairbrush as my mic and nobody could tell me I wasn’t the fourth member of TLC.”
Sidora has taken on a blonde, short-cropped hairstyle in anticipation of the acting gig. “Rockin my new look!!! Lol!!!” she wrote Sunday when posting a picture on Twitter.
Jeff Olde, VH1’s executive vice president, original programming and production, said the network was looking forward to telling the “never before told stories of these groundbreaking women.”
The screenplay was written by Kate Lanier, who also wrote What’s Love Got To Do With It. Charles Stone III will direct. Chilli and T-Boz will serve as consultants and are among the executive producers.