The Cast Of “Underground” Talk Season 2
During the 2016 National Association of Black Journalists conference, BOSSIP checked in with the cast of WGN’s hot new series “Underground.”
Alano Miller, Amirah Vann and Aldis Hodge dished on playing their respective characters and the positive impact that the slave drama is having on viewers.
Alano Miller on Cato in season 2:
“The way we left him he’s alive with a chest full of money. I’ll tell you this, for season 2 you’ve never seen this Cato before. This is a whole different monster, you’ve now added money to the mix so with that the world is my oyster. I’m very excited and very nervous at the same time.”
Amirah Vann on the creative process of playing an older character, Ms. Ernestine:
“It’s the direction, it’s the writing, it’s the costumes that make you stand a certain way and then it’s the history. I have a wonderful mother, aunties, grandmothers, so when you look at the tradition of strong women in your life, there’s plenty to pull from. And when you want to honor them and give them that respect, it makes you hold yourself in a certain way.”
Aldis Hodge on Noah in season 2:
“Since he’s been put back in a cage he’s like a feral animal. It’s beast mode all day!”
On people initially being adversed to watching a drama about the Underground Railroad:
“There’s so many angles to tell the story from and we were able to tell it from a different side. We made it powerful, there’s an exciting nature to it and we get to show these people for their strengths and heroism and who they are as people, not as things. We humanize it, we’ve seen it from such a distance before and now we get to see it up close and personal. It’s weird when people say, ‘there’s another [slave drama], when really there aren’t that many.”
“I think we talk about victimization, people are upset because they watch a lot of that. They see us being victims and not being heroes and take charge and have worth. Also we’re talking about relevancy, I think if we would’ve shown this three or four years ago, people would’ve been like ‘eh’, but now with everything that’s going on it’s very relevant. It’s important and sad, there’s something to celebrate in that and there’s something to mourn in that but we’re still here. We have a long way to go and I think this show allows families to come together. We’ve traveled this country to schools and to see the reaction to kids—-we were just at the movies the other day and this 9-year-old knew us. They watched the show and asked us every question they could think of.”
“And they’re proud of it, their heads are not low, their heads are high. That shows that we’re telling the story in a new way, the fact that they can walk around with their heads held high and say, ‘wait a minute, this is an Exodus story, this is when we realized how much strength and power we do have.’ It’s our legacy.”
“They’re saying thank you, to have someone come up to us as artists who our point in the world is to sharpen and incite change and change the world, for us to get this opportunity to be a part of that it’s amazing, we’re humbled by that.”
Will YOU be watching season 2 of Underground???
Leigh Vogel/Getty Images for WGN America