BOSSIP’s Sr. Content Director Janeé Bolden spoke with the “Kings of Napa” stars Ebonée Noel who plays August King, Rance Nix who plays Dana King and Ashlee Brian who plays Christian King, the youngest brother ahead of the series premiere (which is tonight 1/11 at 8 PM EST on OWN). The show which was written and created by Janine Sherman Barrois, is about a powerful Black family, The Kings, who who built a fortune with their vineyard and are now forced to do everything they can to maintain their wealth after a series of events threaten to destroy everything the family patriarch built.
We asked the stars what they loved most about their characters and Ashlee Brian was the first to chime in:
“I love being the glue between my siblings who love each other but are always butting heads, I want to see everyone get along,” Brian told BOSSIP of his character Christian. “That’s one of the parts that I really love because that’s the part I play in my real life in my family. I’m the mediator saying, ‘Hey everybody let’s get along.’ That’s why it’s really dope for me diving into this because I’m watching my older brother and sister go at it.”
“I love how August bosses up in the series, you know she’s met with a lot of challenges and I don’t think she does it from a place of needing to be the leader or needing to be in control,” Ebonée Noel told BOSSIP. “She just has a vision for her family and their business and she’s just like, ‘whatever comes at us, we’re going to elevate.’ And I love the commitment to a look. That’s another thing I really love about my character. Shout out to our costume designer Michelle, she is a genius.”
“For me, the clothes as well,” Rance Nix echoed. “I’m big on tailoring, so to be able to wear custom outfits and custom suits that were tailored to the T and some even to be able to show up to set and if tailor. Also, Dana is married in the show. He’s the only married sibling. Marriage is also a desire of mine, so to be able to play a married man and a husband who loves his wife, Rose, that was really special as well.”
“Kings of Napa” offers a glimpse at the Kings lavish lifestyle — one which affords the entire family luxuries that leaves nearly every member of the clan feeling entitled to the finer things life has to offer.
“I think we enjoy shows about wealthy people in general because there is a veneer from the outside, like we’re always looking up, you know behind the gates,” Ebonée Noel told BOSSIP, before continuing. “But at the end of the day people are people, just because our parents are wealthy life doesn’t mean that our cousins or our aunts are in that same bracket or so there is tension that will happen with that. Families are expansive and if you break down the boundaries and the veneer, there is so much interesting and juicy stuff inside that we can relate to and cheer on and root for. I think that’s part of why we’re a little obsessed with wealthy families in general and Black wealth in particular because I don’t think we get to see it enough.”
“This is post come up,” Rance Nix added. “You see a lot of movies where the Black family is on the come up, hustling, trying to achieve the American dream, the Kings have achieved that dream. Like Ebonée said, you have that perspective on the inside of what’s this family like, after achieving that dream and they’ve got all the wealth and money to enjoy the finer things. What’s that like? Explore on the “Kings of Napa…”
It turns out that the production didn’t actually take place in Napa.
“TV magic…” Rance Nix teased, before revealing that most of their scenes were filmed on a soundstage in Toronto, with much of the outdoor shots being taken in Niagara.
“Don’t touch the vines, don’t touch the grapes,” Nix cautioned, motioning to a faux vineyard as he added, “Production is paying not nearly as much as they’ll yield on this row.”
Check out our full interview with the King siblings below:
“Kings Of Napa” premieres tonight Tuesday, 1/11 on OWN at 8PM EST