Tatyana Ali pulls double duty in the new Lifetime movie ‘Vanished: Searching for My Sister.’ The actress spoke EXCLUSIVELY with HL about playing twins for the first time.
Tatyana Ali stars as twins Jada and Kayla in Vanished: Searching for My Sister, which premieres January 22 on Lifetime. When Kayla goes missing, Jada takes matters into her own hands and goes on a search to find her sister. HollywoodLife spoke EXCLUSIVELY with Tatyana playing dual roles.
“The idea of playing twins really blew me away, playing these two characters,” she said. “I’ve seen that done in film before, and I know it’s a really challenging process, so I thought that was exciting, especially a character like Kayla, that twin that goes missing. Very rarely do I get to play people like her, and that was really exciting to me. And then the other part too was the fact that when Black women go missing, when these things happen, the resources really aren’t put into finding them or getting justice for them. I really like that Jada, her sister, just would not give up on her and wouldn’t let anybody else give up on her. I liked that journey in the story.”
Tatyana admitted that it was “taxing” playing two characters. “I felt like I did a lot of the work that I usually do, it was just twice,” she continued. “Same character development and all that but just twice the amount, and the period that I had to make the film felt really short for me because of that. But what was interesting was playing two sisters and being alone and figuring out their relationship was different. I really thank God for hair, makeup, and costumes and just the hair and makeup trailer because that was my safe place when I switched between them.”
Jada and Kayla are complete opposites. The Lifetime alum is more like Jada in real life, so the character was “easier to embody” than Kayla. “I had more fun I think figuring out Kayla, how she move, why she did the things she did, and trying to create her in a way that was not caricaturing at all,” Tatyana told HollywoodLife. “She has all these issues, and she’s dealt with addiction. She’s dealt with all these things. I wanted people to feel compassion for her because I did.”
Vanished: Searching for My Sister is a thrilling ride as Jada seeks to find out the truth about what happened to Kayla. Tatyana revealed that she was “shocked” by the ending of the movie. She also noted that there’s this constant “tension” in the film “where it’s like a twin thing. We never explicitly say that and I like that. She knows her sister’s in trouble. She knows it because she feels her sister.”