Aisha Alfa’s co-starring role as Carolyn on Peacock’s true-crime spoof “Based On a True Story” strikes a personal chord with the actress/comedian.
“I was fascinated with true crime when I was a teenager,” Alfa, 43, told The Post. “I’m interested in people and the way they live their lives, so when something is outside of the norm it’s fascinating to me.
“I’ve watched documentaries on different serial killers and now I have two young kids and as soon as I got pregnant it was like I was allergic to it,” she said. “I can’t think about these things and it makes me freak out.
“I really wanted to watch ‘Dahmer’ on Netflix when it came out but I was like, ‘I can’t. My brain will go crazy with worrying.”
They’re experiencing a low point in their marriage as they’re expecting their first child — he’s a fading tennis pro reliving the past, she’s a real estate agent bored with her job — when they discover that their friendly plumber, Matt Pierce (Tom Bateman), is also the West Side Ripper, an infamous serial killer terrorizing LA.
Ava, a true-crime buff who joins her friends (including Carolyn) in afternoon soirees built around the genre, comes up with a can’t miss moneymaking plan: to produce a trailblazing podcast in which Matt, disguising his voice, will detail his grisly crimes … and promise Ava and Nathan that he will stop killing.
What could possibly go wrong?
Alfa said she knew Carolyn suited her in several ways once she read a description of the character before shooting began.
“The way I remember it, she’s in her 40s, she’s successful, sassy and open — and also, at times, she looks at [online real estate site] Zillow for housing in different cities when her husband isn’t looking,” she said. “I just loved that. I’m in my 40s and doing well, I love my husband [Josh Green] and I have kids but I imagine what life would be like if I could just take off to Paris without having to pack for my kids and not worry about food because my husband doesn’t eat red meat.
“I have these weird fantasies even though I love my life.”
And what a life it’s been. Born in Nigeria, Alfa grew up in Canada (Winnipeg) and has lived in France and in South Korea — where she played professional soccer before moving into dramatic acting and standup comedy.
“I played soccer in Canada at the University of Alberta,” she said. “We won nationals once and got silver twice, and from there I played in the World University Games in Korea, and then I played for two seasons for the Ottawa Fury in the [all-female] USL-W League, which doesn’t exist anymore.
“Then I went to Korea and played in the men’s league,” she said. “I was the only woman who ever played in that league and I brought over one of my good friends from the university to come play on a rival team to gain more awareness that women can play [soccer].
“Now I don’t play at all,” she said. “I kick about with my kids but that’s it. Nobody wants me to coach a kid’s team — my brain is way too competitive.”
Alfa released her debut comedy album, “All the Parts,” in 2000, played the Just For Laughs comedy festival, produced the YouTube interview series “Plus One,” launched her own podcast, “The Shout Out Show,” and has appeared in “Good Trouble,” “Sorry for Your Loss” and played Ms. Grell in the Canadian series “Degrassi: Next Class.”
She’s currently producing and headlining monthly comedy shows called “Toasted” at The Hotel Cafe in LA.
“It’s something to get us out of our comfort zones,” she said. “For our next show we have some musicians and song parodies.
“It’s so much fun to produce and create something and be involved in the community — and it’s a great way to showcase ourselves and what we can do within that box of comedy.”
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