A 'STAR' IS BORN ON FOX
If you love EMPIRE, then be sure to tune into Lee Daniels' new creation STAR which will air January 4 on FOX at 9/8c.
Academy Award and Golden Globe nominee Lee Daniels - creator and executive producer of broadcast's No. 1 series, EMPIRE - partnered with Tom Donaghy ("The Whole Truth") to pull back the curtain on music's gritty and dark reality in STAR.
With original music and alluring music performances, STAR follows three talented singers, desperate for a new start and with ambitions of stardom, as they navigate the cut-throat music business on their road to success.
The main character, STAR (Jude Demorest), a tough-as-nails young woman, who came up in the foster care system and decides one day to take control of her destiny. Star finds her sister, Simone (Brittany O'Grady), and her Instagram friend, Alexandra (Ryan Destiny), and together, the trio journeys to Atlanta to become music superstars. Reality soon dawns on the girls' fantasies, and they start to learn that ambition often comes at a cost. Many times, that cost is too high.
Academy Award nominee and Emmy Award, Grammy Award and Golden Globe Award winner Queen Latifah ("Bessie,: "Bringing Down The House") plays Carlotta, a surrogate mother to the young ladies. Emmy Award nominee Benjamin Bratt ("24: Live Another Day," "Law & Order") as Jahil, a down-on-his-luck talent agent looking to revitalize his career, who's taken a liking to Star. Rounding out the cast is model and actor, Quincy Brown ( "DOPE," Brotherly Love," "The Haves and the Have Nots") as Derrick, activist, and realist who takes a liking to Alexandra.
This series will also feature guest star and Grammy Award winner Lenny Kravitz ("Lee Daniels' The Butler," "The Hunger Games")
THAheadline's very own, Thai Lee had the opportunity to speak with Benjamin Bratt and Quincy Brown about the show and their characters.
Bratt's character, Jahil is a bit sketchy and dark. When asked about his difficulties trying to get into character and what could viewers expect, he said, "Stepping into the skin of someone like Jahil Rivera is an opportunity to expand beyond, as an actor, an opportunity to expand beyond what typically I’m offered in a television forum. The good news for me as an artist was that Lee was quite familiar with my work in the independent film world, and that includes films like Piñero or a film I produced with my brother, La Mission, or The Woodsman—all films which afforded me an opportunity to really act, to
really transform into something from quite different than what most TV audiences expect of me. With that, Lee has given me a gift, really, on a network television show to visit parts of personality and things that are very different from my own that are by far and way much more challenging to portray because they’re so far removed from what I am." He concluded, "With that said, Lee is the inspiration for the character and obviously a natural touchstone for me to continually go back to. It’s been not just a
challenge but kind of inspiration really to do this because rather than feel pressure to exact a performance in the form of the creator of the show, I feel inspired and excited at the challenges put before me.
As for Brown's character, Derrick, he relates to him in many ways. From losing his father at a young age to figuring things out on his own. He shared with THAheadline a little bit about his character and what attracted him to the TV series, STAR.
"My character Derrick is an activist. He believes in what is right and he is going to do whatever it takes to showcase that. He knows he cannot do it alone and in the sense of the realness, he lost his father so the troubles of life that he already goes through and then dealing with all the other mess that comes with it; it leaves him in a great space. His father was a cop that passed away when he was younger so that leaves a lot of emptiness for me to try and figure out in life. Life is all about figuring it out from whichever aspect you want to look at it. As for me, Quincy, I am all about trying to figure it out. I really get to explore the message that is trying to get conveyed, and it is coming off in such a real way and not just words from paper. I think Lee does a phenomenal job at making sure he attacks everything. He takes it and rubs it in a comfortable place. Not rubbing it in where it makes you feel uncomfortable. The sense of realness is what attracted me the most beyond anything."
Lee Daniels definitely outdid himself this time around. Initially, you may go in thinking, "Three girls striving for success, been there done that," but STAR is nothing like you have seen before and will take you on a trip you never imagined taking. With many new faces, inspiring messages and great music, the show is bound to be a hit.
Stardom has a price. Don't miss the series premiere of STAR Wednesday at 9/8c on FOX. If you missed the pilot episode that aired December 14, click here. Check out the preview of the season below.