Tyler Perry’s ‘The Oval’: Russel Thomas Talks Eli’s Shift To The Dark Side For Season 5!

Move over Hunter Franklin, There’s a new boss in town and he goes by the name of Eli! Russell Thomas talks all about his character’s transition to the dark side, and how the fans including his mom reacted. 

Season 5 of Tyler Perry’s hit series The Oval is the best yet and holds nothing back, including jaw-dropping moments that keep fans returning for more.

One of the big plots this season follows Eli, played by Russell Thomas, as he becomes President of the United States, and let’s just say this season, he’s not the person to cross.

Thomas spoke with AfterBuzz TV about what it is like switching to a more villainous role and the reaction from fans.

“It’s been a fun character arc. When my character was introduced I was the good guy, and people expected me to make the right decisions. I was starting to gain the trust of the audience to some degree. However, in season four it was revealed that I was having an affair with Victoria, and now some of that scheming and manipulation is coming to fruition as I make my way into the Oval Office”, explained Thomas.

Making the drastic switch to playing a more manipulative character was fun for Thomas because he was able to play a character that’s nothing like him in real life.

“Being able to explore these deeper and darker aspects of humanity can be fun. It’s fun to see how the audience reacts to it. You see how people are responding to my character on social media, and it went from being someone you can look up to someone you really couldn’t trust.” Said Thomas. “On a more personal level, during season four when it was revealed I was having an affair with Victoria. I went to visit my mom the day after the episode aired, and she wouldn’t let me in at first because of what Eli did.”

Although The Oval is a series with many characters who are schemers and backstabbers, Thomas says behind the scenes, it’s all good times.

“At the end of the day, the cast and crew love being on set. We love working with each other and having fun, and sometimes the more cutthroat you can be with your performance, the more fun you have and the more you can laugh about it afterward.” Said Thomas.

Catch season 5 of Tyler Perry’s The Oval on BET and BET Plus.

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Benny Adams

Benny Adams is a Producer, entertainment Journalist, and host in Los Angeles. He studied broadcast journalism at California State University Northridge.