Daniels’ new drama, “STAR,” stars Queen Latifah as Carlotta, the owner of an Atlanta beauty salon who boasts an amazing voice and becomes a surrogate mother to a three girl group even though she disapproves of their musical aspirations. So far, it “sounds” like casting Queen Latifah as the “star” of STAR is critical since no other flagship names have been announced.
After a nationwide search, a trio of relatively unknown newcomers (L-R in photo), Jude Demorest, Ryan Destiny and Brittany O’Grady have joined the project as the group members. Demorest will play Star, the tough 18-year-old who spent her childhood in and out of foster homes after her mother’s death and who will do whatever it takes to become a true star. Destiny has been cast as Alexandra, the wealthy 20-year-old who grew up on New York’s Upper East Side but has tried to put her privileged world behind her for years so she can make authentic music. O’Grady rounds out the group as Simone, Star’s younger sister who dreams of the day Star will come back to rescue her from the abusive foster home in which she was placed five years before.
Written, created and directed by Daniels, the show centers on these young women who form a group (ala the Supremes, TLC and Destiny’s Child) with hopes of making it big in the industry and the choices they face along the way to success and stardom. Let us hope Lee Daniels brings a refreshing spin to this story which has been beaten more than a coroner’s death rag! Although it’s set against the backdrop of the music business but from a different perspective than “Empire,” which is told from the point of view of music executives and set in New York, “STAR” will is set in Atlanta and told from the artist perspective.
Always one with a desire to push the envelope, Daniels’ searched to cast an additional character, “Cotton,” a half African-American and half Latina transgender woman with a stunning look and an especially keen eye for fashion. (Yezzzzzzz…..work…. break down the door Lee!)
Although the plan isn’t for there to be immediate crossovers with Empire, trust and believe that scenario is not completely off the table, especially if a ratings boost in needed.
The list is long so you can expect that the show, already in production in Atlanta will bring the usual ATL-liens in cameos. The music for the show will be created by Swizz Beatz(so expect an appearance by Alicia Keys) and premier date for “STAR” is pending.