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30 Dec

Shannon Thornton, J. Alphonse Nicholson Talk ‘P-Valley’ S2 …

After a 2-year wait, P-Valley finally returns to Starz on June 3, and the Pynk Posse, because the solid and creator lovingly call show fans, can’t be more elated.

With the countdown on for the neon-tinted southern drama officially on, fans are desperate to see what’s in store for series favorites Ms. Mississippi / Keyshawn and Lil Murda. We got a likelihood to meet up with the actors behind the nuanced characters, Shannon Thornton and J. Alphonse Nicholson, to speak all things season 2.

In season 1, each of the actors expertly took on the tough task of exploring the plight of characters living through often-misunderstood situations. Thornton played Keyshawn, an area stripper and mother to a young infant she often has to bring to work along with her, struggling through a physically and mentally abusive relationship. Come season’s end, when confronted with a possibility to exit, she as an alternative selected to remain – even turning her back on the Diamond (Tyler Lepley), the club bouncer and her good friend, attempting to defend her.

“I feel Katori [Hall, creator of P-Valley]did a wonderful job painting that picture and making it real,” Thornton said of Keyshawn’s plight with domestic violence. “I got numerous DMs and comments from individuals who really related to Keyshawn and who related to Diamond – my mom being considered one of them.” 

Thornton revealed that her role on the show opened up a dialogue between her and her mother about her family’s own history with domestic violence, previously unbeknownst to her. 

“Hearing personal stories and the way people could relate was just really touching,” she continued. “This season, you actually get to see why she stays. I don’t think it’s a relationship that she ‘refuses’ to go away, it’s just complicated,” she said, noting that more of the ties that keep Keyshawn tied right down to Derrick despite his physical and mental abuse are explored this season.

Nicholson then again took on a task often demonized within the culture: a rapper with a hypermasculine image living a double life as a closeted, trans-attracted man.

“For Lil Murda, you see him fight with all of the complex emotions that include being a closeted Black man and rapper on this society,” Nicholson said. “It’s someone we all know and we’ve seen, but we just haven’t seen on this huge of a platform.” 

In Season 1, Lil Murda began a secret romantic relationship with Uncle Clifford (Nicco Annan), the trans club owner of The Pynk. While Clifford was all the time prepared to maintain their relationship private, she broke things off when Lil Murda decided to treat her coldly and deride her in front of his straight male friends within the interest of protecting his public image.

Shannon Thornton, J. Alphonse Nicholson Talk ‘P-Valley’ S2

Within the upcoming season, Nicholson says that fans will have the option to get a greater understanding of the problems that Lil Murda is facing while struggling to be true to himself and chase his big dreams.

“We’re able to essentially see him find himself – find himself as a musician, find himself as a friend, as a loved one to those around him. I prefer to call him the everyman. We get to see someone who has just a little little bit of all of us in him.”

“The audience members may sometimes have just a little little bit of a tough time understanding it, since it’s not the same old reflection you see while you look within the mirror,” Nicholson explained. “But I’m grateful that we’re capable of be the show that does that.”

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