Hollywood certainly isn’t perfect, but it appears that we’ve finally come to a place where people from across the globe and from various backgrounds can finally see themselves represented on-screen. Katori Hall’s P-Valley follows a group of women from Chucalissa, Mississippi, the Bible Belt of the south as they navigate their lives as exotic dancers at the strip club, The Pynk.
When the first season debuted on Starz in July 2020, viewers watched The Pynk owner, Uncle Clifford (Nicco Annan), as she tried to cling onto the club’s legacy despite massive debt and a looming casino closing in on her. The series also chronicled the lives of Autumn (Elarica Johnson), a newcomer to the club running from her past, Mercedes (Brandee Evans) who has a plan to do more than dance, and Keyshawn aka Ms. Mississippi (Shannon Thornton), a woman finding herself as she tries to deal with her abusive boyfriend.
While most of the actors have had roles on TV, the theater stage, or in the fashion industry, one P-Valley actor’s breakout movie role was in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
‘P-Valley’ almost didn’t happen
P-Valley is based on Hall’s play, Pu**y Valley. Though she wanted to adapt the play to the small-screen for years, the playwright and showrunner got a ton of pushback in Hollywood. In fact, the pilot for P-Valley was shot back in 2018. Hall told ELLE,
I went all around town in Hollywood, and so many people wouldn’t even let me in the door, like, ‘There are no shows about exotic dancers, and no one wants this. Sorry, not sorry.’ Ironically, there were some Black people who told me, ‘Katori, you’re Ivy League-educated, why not do something about lawyers or doctors? Why create something that plays into the pathology of the Black community?
Thankfully, Hall followed her instincts, and in a world where Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s “WAP” is the number one song in the country, now was the perfect time for P-Valley to debut.
This is what we know about ‘P-Valley’ Season 2
Debuting to rave reviews, P-Valley has already been renewed for a second season at Starz. However, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic will undoubtedly delay any filming until at least 2021. Hall revealed to ELLE,
We have not started, but I’ve started it in my mind. I have kept a log of all the stories I’ve wanted to tell and a lot of threads to pull, especially after the season finale. This is an interesting moment, what’s happening in our world with the virus and the uprisings, and I am definitely thinking of how we can participate in those conversations through this art. But just know, it’s not coming any time soon.
Still, that didn’t stop Hall from giving us a hint about some issues that may pop up between Uncle Clifford and Autumn aka Hailey. “She came in getting her a** smacked on the dance floor and now, she has some ownership in the club,” Hall explained. “The power dynamics at the club have completely changed and to see Uncle Clifford and Hailey fight over the throne will be stuff of legends.”
Elarica Johnson was in ‘Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince’
If you’re a major Harry Potter fan, Johnson who plays Autumn/Hailey might look very familiar. The London-born actor’s feature film debut was in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. She shared on Instagram,
A friend of mine pointed out that there was an open call audition in the newspaper and it was for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I went and lined up for 10 hours, got in the room, got asked my name, and a hobby. Then the lady was like, “Thank you.” I was really pissed off. I went to leave and someone tapped me on my shoulder. After that I had an audition, then I had a recall, and then I didn’t get the job that I actually went for. But, I had a fantastic phone call with the director who said, “We still want you and we have this part, would you play it?” That was the beginning of my career and that was my first job. It’s going to follow me for the rest of my life and I’m quite ok with it. I played the waitress in the Surbiton station. That was my name, Waitress, and Harry asked me on a date, but we never got to go.