‘Step Up’: Christina Milian Joins Starz Series in Role Originated by Naya Rivera
Naya Rivera’s Collette has been recast for Starz’s re-imagined Step Up series.
Christina Milian will star in the role the late Rivera, who died in a drowning accident in July 2020, played in the series’ first two seasons on YouTube. (Those episodes will be available across Starz platforms and air on Starz Fridays at 8/7c, beginning March 5.) Filming began in Atlanta in February.
The series, inspired by the Step Up films, follows Ne-Yo‘s Sage Odom, the legendary founder of Atlanta’s famed High Water Performing Art School, and Collette, High Water’s Queen and his partner in art, business, and love. Ne-Yo returns in the Starz series, as do series regulars Faizon Love (Uncle Al), Jade Chynoweth (Odalie), Carlito Olivero (Davis), Terrence Green (Rigo), Eric Graise (King), and Kendra Oyesanya (Poppy). Tricia Helfer joins the cast as Erin.
“I know I have massive shoes to fill. Naya was incredible,” Milian said in a statement. “I hope to honor Naya, her family, friends and fans with a great performance.”
“Naya’s death was a terrible loss to our world that we will, frankly, never stop mourning,” creator and executive producer Holly Sorensen added. “It was almost impossible to consider there could be someone so graceful and loving who could both help us honor our loss, while also bringing a deep reservoir of talent to our show, in so many areas. Christina is an exceptional human and a dazzling performer and we are so happy she has joined our family.”
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“There is no replacing Naya. Let’s get that straight. Her spirit lives on in our memories and every part of what this show is and will be,” Ne-Yo said. “Christina has big shoes to fill and she knows it, which speaks to her poise and respect as a person and an artist. I’m more than certain of her ability to bring an energy and light to this character that Naya’s fans as well as the rest of the world will love.”
Joining Sorensen as executive producers are Adam Shankman, Jennifer Gibgot, and Erik Feig (producers of the Step Up films), Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan (who co-starred in the original Step Up movie), writer Bill Brown, and director Dawn Wilkinson.