Starz's upcoming series P-Valley is about to put a spotlight on what creator Katori Hall calls the "Delta noir" genre.
Set in a small town along the Mississippi Delta, the show takes a peek behind the curtain at the local institution known as the Pynk, a strip club with a gritty and glittery group of dancers, patrons and more. Filled with mystery and intrigue, the show's cast is stocked with dreamers looking to better their lives in some way.
Plus, she teases what's to come in the new Starz series.
No matter their motivations, there's no denying the enticing plots, visuals and messages being presented. From themes of breaking sexual identity stereotypes to exploring the more complex and untold stories behind the Pynk's pole dancers, P-Valley has it all. Below, the stars tease their characters and stories ahead of the premiere.
P-Valley, Series Premiere, Sunday, July 12, Starz
Autumn Night (Elarica Johnson)
“She’s come from this natural disaster,” Johnson reveals of her character Autumn Night. “We don’t know where she’s come from before that, but it’s some something that’s not very good, and because of that, she’s keeping that secret and it feels like she’s running away from something,” adding, “She ends up in the strip club and she meets the likes of Mercedes, Miss Mississippi, Gidget and Uncle Clifford. And she uses that as a place to get her bearings back and figure out what she’s gonna do next.”
Mercedes (Brandee Evans)
“Mercedes is the O.G. boss,” Evans teases. “She’s the loyal friend, and she is that hustler and go-getter that everyone needs in their life. She’s a complex character, adds Evans, “and she has a very sensitive heart when you get to know her, but she’s got a very tough exterior.”
Uncle Clifford (Nicco Annan)
“Uncle Clifford is a beautiful Black non-binary queer who identifies with the pronouns ‘she,'” reveals Annan. “She is the proprietor of the Pynk, a wonderful saucy club that’s down in Mississippi. And I think that this is a place where you literally are seeing the revolution happening right before your eyes. You’re seeing the daily fight that women and LGBTQ and heterosexual cis-gendered men are going through in their lives.”
Lil’ Murda (J. Alphonse Nicholson)
“I believe he’s the every man who’s trying to figure himself out every step of the way,” says Nicholson of his rapper character. “I believe he’s someone that we all can relate to. I think he’s a super talented musician [Laughs] and I think people are going to enjoy his music and the lifestyle that he brings to P-Valley and just everything he brings to that community and that culture, I’m grateful to be telling his story.”
Keyshawn/Miss Mississipi (Shannon Thornton)
“She is this ball of energy; I think she eats glitter for breakfast,” Thornton jokes of her character whose stage name is Miss Mississippi. “She’s a walking exclamation mark, you hear her before you see her, and you want to be her friend. She’s also struggling with an abusive relationship,” reveals Thornton. “She is very insecure about being a dark-skinned Black girl and she is a mom of two. Through all of this inner turmoil and conflict [though], you see her really coming into her own.”
Andre Watkins (Parker Sawyers)
“Andre Watkins is a guy that was born and raised in Chuccalissa, but he moved away for his education and more opportunity,”Sawyers teases. “He’s coming back to his small town in the South on mysterious business — he thinks he’s doing the right thing … He’s a good guy, I’ll just say that.”
Gidget (Skyler Joy)
“She’s a dancer at the Pynk and she is a second-generation pole dancer,” Joy says of her character. “She sees pole dancing as an Olympic sport. And she used the Pynk as a fantasy world where she puts on colorful wigs, tons of makeup, and different outfits,” adds Joy. “She goes there to escape the reality of her struggles outside of the club.”