BY: KIMBERLY ALSUP
I had the pleasure to personally work on the set of Lee Daniel’s new series STAR set to debut on December 14 after the season 3 finale of Empire. December 14 will be a preview of the pilot and then will move to its permanent time slot on Wednesday, January 4. After the holiday, Empire’s normal Wednesday night slot will be replaced by Star with Empire returning in mid-March.
Being on that set you can feel the comradarie and the love from not only the cast but also from the crew. It was so refreshing to be on a set where everyone works together. Even the girls, you can tell that they genuinely like each other outside of the show.
Star centers around three talented young singers who are desperate for a new start and with ambitions of stardom, as they navigate through the cut-throat music business. This show has been described in the vein of Dreamgirls while incorporating the manufacturing of modern-day girl groups, and exploiting cultural themes from a new perspective. Reality hits the girl’s fantasies and they start to learn that ambition often comes at a cost, and sometimes that cost is too high.
This music filled drama stars Queen Latifah, who plays Carlotta the owner of an Atlanta beauty salon who has an amazing voice and becomes a surrogate mother, a mentor, and a protector to the three girls even though she doesn’t approve of their musical dreams.
Benjamin Bratt plays Jahil, a down-on-his-luck talent agent looking to revitalize his career, who takes a certain liking to Star.
Newcomers make up the young singers, Jude Demorest in the title role of STAR, 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 tracks down her sister SIMONE, played by Brittany O’Grady and her Instagram bestie ALEXANDRIA, played by Ryan Destiny and together they journey to Atlanta to be music superstars.
Guest stars will include Lenny Kravitz, Naomi Campbell, and Tyrese Gibson. Naomi Campbell will play Rose Spencer, the beautiful wealthy and cultivated London-born mother of Ryan Destiny’s character Alexandria.
Tyrese Gibson plays Bobby Harris, who is the Pastor over Carlotta’s (Latifah) church, a handsome ex-thug who has turned his life over to God, and begins a relationship with Carlotta. Their romance however will be challenged on so many fronts and will ultimately create a crisis of faith for both of them.
The series will feature original music along with fantasy sequences. Being on the set with the music, all I can say is that the music is outstanding and I can’t wait to hear the rest. I couldn’t get songs out of my head for days they were so good.
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