Carl Payne*All of you real TLC fans who tune into the VH1 biopic “CrazySexyCool” tonight may be surprised by what you see, but Carl Payne, who plays L.A. Reid says its the harsh reality of what can really happen in the music business.

The biopic walks through the journey of TLC as they meet for the first time all the way to becoming a chart-topping number-one selling trio. But what fans may be shocked to see is how all of their success didn’t lead to financial security.

Carl says he’s had enough experience in the entertainment business to know how realistic the things portrayed in the film are.

“None of that surprised me at all. It’s like par for the course,” he told Sister 2 Sister. “I’ve heard and seen it happen a million times.”

The film shows Left Eye, Chilli and T-Boz struggling to stay above water as they were unable to really live the celebrity life they’d hoped. It didn’t help that their manager doesn’t help to line their pockets either.

Carl’s character, L.A. Reid, is alive and well but the actor decided not to contact him for inspiration on his character.

“My contract was to read the script and do it well. That’s it…on to the next job. At the end of the day, if somebody feels some sort of way about it, then maybe that’s a good thing. I must have done something right,” said Carl who studied interviews and tapes of L.A. to pick up on his mannerisms.

After years of being typecast in comedic roles, the actor most known for his role on “Martin” and “The Cosby Show” was thrilled to delve into a dramatic role to show his range.

“They didn’t even really want me in the room,” he said about those more serious roles he auditioned for after “Martin.”“It got easier because there were some people brave enough to give me an opportunity and they weren’t disappointed,” said Carl who learned about the L.A. Reid role from Chilli. “You just want your shot. It’s one thing if you get stopped before you get to the door, but at least let me in there.”

CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story: VH1, tonight, Monday (10-21-13) at 9, Eastern and Pacific times; 8, Central time.