The true crime genre ignites the inner detective in all of us. What is it about these documentaries, podcasts, and shows that draw us in? It likely depends on what you enjoy the most out of these stories. For many, it’s to see how law enforcement solves the case step-by-step.
If you happen to be one of those viewers, then Vivica A. Fox’s new show is sure to become a new favorite for you. The series is called The Interrogation Room, and it’s coming from FilmRise. Produced by Zig Zag Productions and FilmRise, the full series will be available to stream for free on services such as YouTube, Amazon Freevee, Tubi, The Roku Channel, and more July 1st.
We sat down with Fox to talk about The Interrogation Room, and what it was like to step into the world of true crime.
A Look Inside the Interrogation Room
The Interrogation Room will tell 10 true stories of various cases, starting off with the case of Melissa Huckaby. When eight-year-old Sandra Cantu goes missing, Huckaby is brought in for questioning as a suspect. In her compliance with the officers, she unknowingly leads investigators to believe there is something more sinister behind the disappearance. The episode follows the detectives as they continue to interview her, breaking down her answers, until they find those all-too-important pieces of information that seal her fate. A clip of the episode can be viewed here.
The rest of the series focuses on recent U.S. and U.K. criminal cases, such as the disappearance of Savannah Gold, the shooting of Jordan Davis, and more. Each episode follows the interrogations of the suspected guilty party, including interviews with expert detectives and other law enforcement.
What sets The Interrogation Room apart from competing shows is its focus on the goings-on of that titular space. According to Fox, that step is a favorite part of the show. “I think that’s the most interesting aspect. Instead of them saying ‘this is how it unfolded,’ they take you inside. ‘We suspect this person, so we brought them in,'” said Fox, who elaborated:
To see how they make someone comfortable enough to confess with their body language, that was the one thing that was the most interesting to me, was how you can tell when the detective goes in for ‘the kill.’ When they (the detective) get comfortable with someone and make them feel like they’re a friend.
“That was very interesting to me,” continued Fox. “I could see it after taping so many episodes, I was starting to think ‘oh, they’re about to get it!’ They’d ask them if they wanted a drink of water, and then they’d leave them in the room to marinate for a few moments, like ‘damn, did I talk too much?’ I think that’s what makes it stand out compared to most true crime.”
Vivica A. Fox’s History with True Crime
While Vivica is most famously associated with such roles as Jasmine Dubrow in Independence Day and Vernita Green from the Kill Bill movies, the actress also has experience in the crime genre. Enter Missing (originally titled 1-800-Missing), a crime drama series that aired from 2003 until 2006. The show followed Jess Mastriani (Caterina Scorsone), a woman who gains psychic abilities and joins a special FBI Task Force to help find missing persons. Vivia A. Fox joined the series in season two, where she plays Agent Nicole Scott for three seasons.
Even with her history in the crime genre, there was still more to discover with her involvement in The Interrogation Room. Playing a detective gave her a view into the field, but The Interrogation Room was a different experience.
“In Missing, we just kind of caught criminals. We would get them, arrest them, and turn them over. But hosting The Interrogation Room, going behind the scenes, showing how they build a case, how they get confessions, that was all totally new.”
Fox also revealed that she was overjoyed at being offered the chance to host The Interrogation Room because it felt like “a perfect fit.” The actress has always been a fan of crime stories.
“I loved watching some 48 Hours, some Dateline, I love a good whodunit just like everybody else does! Just trying to figure out how that simple piece of hair, or blood drop, or footprint can help solve a crime.”
Fox’s Career Continues to Shine
When asked if she would consider returning to true crime, Fox responded with “absolutely!”
I’d love to do this for seasons to come. The true crime fanbase just keeps getting bigger and bigger, people love these kind of shows. I’d like to come back and host some more shows.
Along with The Interrogation Room, Vivica has multiple projects along the way. The actress will be appearing in the Tubi original thriller, Twisted House Sitter 2, which premieres Friday, June 30th. She describes it as “Fatal Attraction meets Devil Wears Prada meets Single White Female.” She will also be making her own directorial debut with First Lady of BMF: The Tonesa Welch Story. The film will be premiering in October on BET+ and will tell the true story of drug dealer Tonesa Welch. Fox detailed the challenges of directing.
“I’ve directed a short before, and that’s 14 minutes. But directing an hour and a half? That’s like a salmon swimming upstream every day! Everyone comes to you from the moment you step on the set until the end of the day. But it’s your baby, it’s like being pregnant. You conceive it, you carry it, you pick hair and makeup, wardrobe, every decision! You answer so many questions. But when it was over, I was like, ‘I did it, I directed a film!’ So it made me very proud.”
True crime is a genre that continues to thrive in the age of streaming, with every major company and studio releasing their own shows or films highlighting those horrors. But along with the shock value, true crime can also give a window into the process of the criminal justice system. The Interrogation Room will be offering just that, and you can see for yourself July 1st.