“Star” is a production of 20th Century Fox Television in association with Lee Daniels Entertainment. Lee Daniels and Tom Donaghy are the creators and executive producers of the series.
Academy Award nominee and Emmy Award, Grammy Award and Golden Globe Award winner Queen Latifah stars as Carlotta, a surrogate mother to the young crew (Jude Demorest, Ryan Destiny, Brittany O’Grady) that also includes Cotton (newcomer Amiyah Scott). Emmy Award nominee Benjamin Bratt plays Jahil, a down-on-his-luck talent agent looking to revitalize his career, who’s taken a certain interest in Star. The series also features guest stars Grammy Award winner Lenny Kravitz and supermodel/actress Naomi Campbell.
For Star season 2, new to the cast are Evan Ross and Elijah Kelley, adding some male testosterone in the mix. We caught up with the twosome to find out a little bit more about their characters. Check it out after the jump.
The Knockturnal: So we don’t exactly know your characters on the show yet.
Elijah Kelley: So, as it stands my character’s name is Andy, and Andy is an assistant to Michael Michelle, who plays the label boss at Midtown Records. Who, in turn, the girls are trying to be signed to. But my whole arc comes from the fact of I have an interest in music and singing as well, and she hasn’t heard or understood or even asked about my aspirations. And so my thing is basically, the best thing that you’ve been looking for is right here, answering your emails every single day, and I want to do whatever it takes.
The Knockturnal: Evan, tell us a little about your character.
Evan Ross: I’m related to Benjamin Bratt in the project. He’s an interesting character. He always wanted to be like Benjamin Bratt. He really wanted to be in music and everything like that, and he’s an artist, he’s a producer, he’s a singer. But there’s a lot more happening that we haven’t dove into yet. You can tell he’s got a lot of torment and things that have gone on in his life. You’ll see … and he’s a creator.
The Knockturnal: That influences, that you’ve learned and picked up. How have you benefitted from your past experiences?
Elijah Kelley: I think every level in every project is another opportunity to be a bit more honest and a bit more genuine in your performance. We’re all blessed in this room to be able to sit here and play, and talk about stuff that genuinely actually really doesn’t really matter in the scheme of things. So as honest as we can be in portraying actual life moments, that’s what I get to take from each job.
The Knockurnal: I would like to know from you if you guys think that this TV show is a symbol for representation of all races without clichés.
Evan Ross: No, I don’t represent it, but I also think the thing that to me is very important, maybe because, growing up among my sisters and the “white vs black” in all the family members, this show, as well as Empire, all the stuff … it is what it is. It almost doesn’t even really need to be pinpointed as a thing. Because we just people, and I feel like a lot of times, it’s overly sometimes focused on the difference of what somebody is, when we’re all just people, you know what I mean? I’m German, Norwegian, black, and you know what I mean? These are things important to understand, but at the same time playing in a way that it’s just … it is normal, it should be normal. All it should be just easy. Don’t you think? Do you know what I mean? It shouldn’t be so different. It should be there. It should be like this. It should be the fact that I’m, in this role, Spanish and black and the conversation doesn’t have to go to “Oh, wait. Isn’t he black and … He span-” No. It’s just what it is. The poignancy is put on how a person gets to look a certain way. If he looks like this, he has to be like “No, he’s black and white.” Like, no he’s maybe fricking Portuguese and, you know … It can be anything.