*TV One is going to treat you this Halloween to “The Fright Night Files” – something originally ghoulish.
“The Fright Night Files” is a trio of short horror films that TV One founder Cathy Hughes said is designed to “thrill, shock and amaze our viewers.”
This marks the first scripted production for Hughes and the cable network’s first-ever horror themed scripted film.
One of the scary stories is Pillow Talk Channel 187 starring Elise Neal, who plays a character nothing like the sweet wife and mother she portrayed on the ABC/UPN sitcom “The Hughleys.”
Neal is a late night radio DJ named Coffee Black who gives a new meaning to crazy, sexy, cool. She gets mysterious calls from past lovers including one named Isaiah played by “Ray” star Bokeem Woodbine.
“I think that my fans are gonna be shocked with the level that my character, Coffee Black, goes through in this short,” the “Scream 2” star said.
While Neal didn’t give a lot away about her story with murder in the title – 187 the California police code for homicide – she gave insight into Coffee saying, “She’s very popular. She’s got a lot of fans. But, Coffee has a past that’s not so pretty. It kind of shows as things get going. You see that Coffee’s not too stable.”
The Memphis, Tennessee native will also be seen in an entirely different kind of role – portraying the “Empress of Soul” Gladys Knight – in the much anticipated flick “Aaliyah: Princess of R&B.”
“Really what I’m doing in this movie is all about her, Gladys Knight, letting a young Aaliyah know what it’s like and what it means to be a great performer and giving her the ropes. I know all about that.”
In the Lifetime cable channel biopic airing November 15 – Neal shows off a talent she’s honed for a long time.
“What people don’t know about me (is) I didn’t want to act. That’s what’s so funny to me. I didn’t want to be an actress. From the time I was six from the time I got my scholarship down in Memphis, Tennessee where I’m from – all I wanted to do was be on Broadway.”
Neal made it to the Great White Way when she appeared in a musical with acclaimed choreographer and actor Maurice Hines.
“I have been singing and dancing for years before I thought I would even have a career as an actor,” Neal proudly proclaimed.
She is also excited about being a diva with a capital D – among the ensemble of TV One’s entertainment reality show, “Hollywood Divas” – realizing there are people who question why she chose such a titillating project.
“I know and I understand that people like they’re (saying) oh my God what’s happening and this and that with Elise and everyone doing reality and why did she do it. But the bottom line is I’m a producer. I want people to know that I really am good at it. I wanted people to know more about me as the woman not necessarily just the characters that I play – because I’m gonna keep it real.”
Well, Neal is a woman who’s got a man but she wouldn’t give up many details only saying with a laugh, “There is somebody that I date. Everything is fine – never alone. It’s all good and I’m gonna keep it that way.”
When asked to share something people may be surprised to know about her, the always stylishly coiffed and dressed Screen Actors Guild award nominee replied, “A lot of people are shocked when they know that I bowl really well. I can throw down. I get strikes mostly, only.”
“The Fright Night Files” premiering on TV One on Saturday, October 18 at 8 p.m. Eastern Time will also feature other stars, including award winning actress Lynn Whitfield as Madame Mabry, a Jamaican voodoo expert and model Karrueche Tran making her film debut.
Hear Tené Croom’s exclusive interview with Elise Neal
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