STARZ’s P-Valley is finally back for another season! Ahead of the show’s premiere, The Inside Hollywood‘s Jazzie Belle sat down with the creator, executive producer, and Pulitzer Prize winner Katori Hall to discuss all things the Pynk. When asked if she could describe the newly-premiered season, without hesitation, Katori’s responded with one word: deeper. And that’s exactly where this season will take you, deeper into the lives of The Pynk’s most beloved characters.
Actor Nicco Annan a.k.a. Uncle Clifford—the polarizing gender-fluid boss of The Pynk—says the reason he believes the show is a success is largely due to its unprecedented truth and authenticity.
“I think that you can feel that this show has been created for us and by us,” said Annan. “When it comes to the hair, when it comes to the wardrobe, when it comes to the makeup, when it comes to the nails. Nails were different in the first season…trends have changed. Things change and we evolve and we as a culture. The culture speaks to different trends and what’s moving and I feel like all of that truth is in the story.”
Actress Brandee Evans—who plays Mercedes, the bodacious, vivacious Queen of The Pynk Pole—shared how hard she worked hard in the gym and on her dance moves to not only become a “quarantine statistic” of weight gain but to also put on a show for the viewers.
“I used that [the gym] as my therapy and then it just helped me with the show as well. It was a lot hard this season with the stunts. I’m two years older, my body is two years older,” shared Evans. “Just trying to do the stunts were a lot harder…So, even for me like last season, I was just like, ‘Yeah, I’m the dancer’ then to just see these new girls coming [where] art is imitating life. I’m like, ‘Oh my God, they’re younger, they’re moving, they’re agile.’ I’m calling Nicco, I’m like, ‘This split ain’t down no mo’!” So, all of us really had to get to where we were and then elevate from there.”
Actor and musician J. Alphonse Nicholson a.k.a. Lil Murda—the rap star on the rise with a hidden lust and love affair—says he feels honored to play his “extremely complex character” and is blessed with the opportunity to show his range as an actor.
When asked about the secret sauce behind the show, Nicholson simply said, “[The] Black woman. That’s it. You’ve got a Black woman leading this tribe. That’s what the beginning of time comes from, we all come from that. We all come from that gene. It’s the secret that’s really no secret. It’s just been there and people don’t use that ingredient as much as they should.”
Shannon Thornton b.k.a Miss Mississippi—whose pole skills turned her into a viral sensation—is excited for the fans to get the up and down backstory as to why her character is the way she is.
“You’ll get to see some questions answered about her relationship with Derek, why she stays, what made her fall in love with him,” she shared. “You get to see some of the abuse, also. There are so many ups and downs in her backstory.”
Parker Sawyer as Andre—the aspiring businessman with ambition and a weakness for Autumn Night—is excited for us to see a much “richer and layered character.” This season, the audience gets a more “sympathetic introduction” to Andre.
“This time, I think you, he’s a whole human being,” he said. “You see his sides immediately and what he’s got to confront in the present. His heart gets back to the past. So, it’s going to inform the future so it’s a much richer Andre, which is easy to relate to, I think.”
Elarica Johnson, the actress who plays Autumn Night—the sexy stripper turned part owner of The Pynk—says this season, fans will see a bit of a power struggle between her and Uncle Clifford but the one thing Autumn has is knowing the business and knowing the numbers.
“We know who the true owner of the Pynk is and that fight is continuous through the whole of season two. But this place is comfortable for Autumn because this is where she began. This is the part of her story that we never really got to see, the audience never really got to see. She’s stepped so comfortably in these shoes of boss lady that there’s going to be no questions asked She’s done this before, she knows what she’s doing.”
Since the pre-pandemic debut of season one, fans of the show have been craving for P-Valley‘s return and dubbed themselves “The Pynk Posse.” In Hall’s most recent Instagram post, she tells her followers, “These past two years have been challenging beyond belief: Season two is a chronicle of our resilience.” Well, you know what they say: “The greater the hardship the greater the reward.”
When asked what was the biggest reward she received that surprised her the most while filming, she shared, “I learned being a leader sometimes has nothing to do with experience. Sometimes it has way more to do with compassion and understanding. And for a long time, I thought because I don’t have a lot of experience maybe I shouldn’t be in this position. Every day, I just came to set with love. It made me more confident as a leader and that was one of the biggest gifts I’ve gotten.”
With P-Valley, never before have we seen a series delve into the lives of sex workers and humanize them in a way that people from all walks of life can relate to. From Tackling issues like racism, colorism, sexuality, domestic violence, betrayal, and family. There’s no surprise why season one made the world stop and you can expect the same with season two. So, grab a seat and enjoy this ride because the return of P-Valley has begun.
Catch new episodes of P-Valley Season 2 every Friday on the Starz and the Starz app.