Daytime alum Karla Mosley (ex-Maya Avant, The Bold and the Beautiful; ex-Christina Moore, Guiding Light) has been a busy bee. When she was 25 weeks pregnant with her second baby, she was asked to take over for The Young and the Restless' Mishael Morgan (Amanda Sinclair) while the Y&R actress recovered from emergency eye surgery. And just months after giving birth to her daughter, Mosley took on the Tubi film Deadly Cheer Mom, which serves as a cautionary tale about the dangers of Internet technology.
Based on a shocking true story of social media going horribly wrong, the film follows a cheerleader and her coach mom who find themselves at the center of controversy as salacious videos of the teen surface online and threaten everything they've worked for. The youngster swears the videos of her drinking, stripping, and dissing her teammates are deep fakes (videos that have been manipulated to make it look like someone is saying or doing something they are not), but nobody believes her. As her world starts to crumble, she scrambles to investigate who's behind the blackmail -- with shocking results.
Deadly Cheer Mom, which also stars Mena Suvari, premieres this Friday, March 25, on the free, ad-supported streaming service Tubi. Soap Central caught up with Mosley to get the scoop on the tense thriller, as well as her thoughts about the dangers of social media and Internet technology, which are more and more embedded in our lives.
Soap Central: Why did you decide to sign on to Deadly Cheer Mom?
Karla Mosley: When I read the script, we were coming out of this crazy time when we were all in lockdown, and this film was just so wild. When I first read it, I was like, "Is this a comedy? It's so crazy!" But it's real, it's based on something true. And to work with Mena Suvari, who's just such a wonderful talent, and all of the kids -- I just loved the energy around it. And also, I have a new baby, she'll be eight months, but at the time, she was four months, and they were gracious enough to let me bring her to my trailer at work, so that made it possible. It just felt like a wonderful first big project back.
Soap Central: Did this film influence your thoughts about social media or the digital world, especially because you're a mom of two girls now?
Mosley: Absolutely. It was interesting to even work with young people and to talk to them about it. I was like, "Does this stuff really happen?" And they were like, "Yeah, it does!" It was interesting to look at the way that they navigate social media, knowing about this darker side of it. But there are also positive things -- the way they use it to connect, the way that they use it to promote themselves and be young entrepreneurs. But especially as a mom to two girls, this topic is something that is very much on my mind -- learning how we can empower young people to take control of their image and what they're putting out, their message and their identity, and also to not be so attached to it that 1) it becomes dangerous, like actually dangerous, which is possible, and 2) that we remember that who we are is 3D; it's not on a screen, it's real life, in flesh and blood, and that's the most important image to maintain.
Soap Central: What are your thoughts on social media in general? You post quite frequently -- is it a love/hate relationship?
Mosley: It is a love/hate thing. I'm kind of an introvert, to be honest, so this idea of the pressure to [post is tough]. I'm also an artist, so I like to create things when I feel in the mood to create, so it feels like a job sometimes, like, "Okay, I've got to post a thing about... what? Drinking milk this morning? I don't know!" [Laughs] And some people are so good at it -- or at least, maybe that's what we perceive, right? Because we are seeing what people are curating, and maybe they think I'm wonderful at it, too, I don't know. But there is that part of it that sometimes feels like a job. But then there are wonderful parts. I really feel like I can connect with people, and sometimes I have surprisingly meaningful conversations and learn things. Also, social media is a great place to go for questions, right? If you're like, "I don't know how to do this thing," you can go, "Hey, people, followers, how do I do this thing?" And they're like, "Here's how!" [Laughs] So, there is something about a collective that is really beautiful. But I think again, remembering that it is a curated space and not real life is kind of the key.
Soap Central: I'm guessing that you've never been the victim of a deep fake -- which I'm hoping is true -- but have you ever been burned or embarrassed by any social media posts?
Mosley: I'm sure that I have, and it was probably inconsequential enough that I've just erased it from my mind.
Soap Central: Well, that's good!
Mosley: I've certainly had fake profiles, as in, there are fake Karla Mosley profiles out there and people who have tried to friend my friends and things like that. I even got a weird text today from someone who I haven't heard from in a long time, and they were like, "Hey, sending you an email..." No email has come. And the person was like, "Update me on your info." It sent off some red flags, and I was like, "Um, how about we talk on the phone first?" And I haven't heard anything back. So, that is the scarier side to me, where people can try to get your information. I have an aging mom, and I get nervous for her because I think she's more susceptible to clicking on links. I'm like, "Ma, just don't click on anything! Pass it all by me first!" [Laughs] Because it's so easy to be duped, and these things look more and more real.
Soap Central: They definitely do, and that's why I think Deadly Cheer Mom is actually quite important. It's a good warning to be careful, because you just never know.
Mosley: Like I said, I read the script, and I was like, "This has to be a joke," and then I saw it was based on a true story, which is just wild. And it is a cautionary tale to parents, as well. There's a line between how much we love and cheerlead -- no pun intended -- and empower our kids, but then also where it's important that we let them have their own experience and not let our experience bleed into theirs.
Soap Central: The girls in the film are very serious about cheerleading. What was it that you were very serious about during your high school years -- was it acting?
Mosley: Yeah, theater, for sure! As soon as I found the stage and theater, it was a wrap. My mom was like, "You're never home!" [Laughs] I found every opportunity that I could to be on stage or in rehearsal or with theater people, or even going to theater; I grew up near New York, so going to see a show. I absolutely loved it, and I think my mom is the one who inspired me. She loved theater so, she took me to see shows a lot when I was a kid, and I listened to her old records of musicals. But I'm sure she kind of kicks herself for doing that, because in some ways, it stole me. The acting bug stole me, and I ran away with the carneys at an early age! [Laughs]
Soap Central: Your soap fans were so happy when they saw you on The Young and the Restless, filling in for Mishael Morgan. Was that a good experience for you?
Mosley: It really was! It was such a surprise, and it happened so fast, and obviously Mishael's shoes are huge to step into, but she couldn't have been more gracious and grateful, and same for me. At that point, I was 25 weeks pregnant and I kind of was like, "Well, I guess I just won't be acting again until next year," but then that opportunity came up, which was great. Everyone on Y&R is so wonderful, and it's right across the hall from Bold, so I got to see some of my old friends over there. And then, to be acting with these people who I'd seen in the hallways for many years, and then, of course, on-screen, it was such a dream. Bryton [James, Devon Hamilton] is the most kind human and such a love to work with, and I was right next door to Melissa Egan [Chelsea Lawson], and speaking of theater and what we did as kids, we went to middle school and high school together, and she was pregnant at the same time, so it was so much fun.
Soap Central: There was a rumor a few months back that you had joined General Hospital as Jordan Ashford. Was there any truth to that? Were you close to being cast?
Mosley: Unfortunately, no! I don't know where it came from, but it was such a lovely rumor, and I was so grateful that so many people were behind it. But no. Honestly, I was like, "Oh, this is news to me!" [Laughs] I do have a fan who has been pretty vocal about, "I need you to join this show," so I wonder if he is the one who started it to try and persuade the General Hospital people to bring me on board. But that would have been really fun.
Soap Central: We'd love to see you back in soap operas, but in the meantime, we are happy to have you in Deadly Cheer Mom. Is there anything you'd like to add before I have to let you go?
Mosley: Just that the film is premiering on Friday, and we're really excited to share it with you!
What do you think about our interview with Karla Mosley? What are your thoughts on the premise and casting of Deadly Cheer Mom? Would you like to see Mosley return to soap operas? We want to hear from you -- so drop your comments in the Comments section below, tweet about it on Twitter, share it on Facebook, or chat about it on our Message Boards.