Big Sean has joined the cast of Lena Waithe's upcoming BET comedy series, Twenties. Waithe revealed in an exclusive interview with Variety that the multi-platinum and Grammy-nominated rapper will co-star in the show.
The single-camera comedy has an eight-episode order at the network. If you remember correctly, Twenties was originally in development at TBS, where it was ordered as a pilot. That pilot did not move forward as a series, and after it didn't, BET picked it up.
Waithe's interview confirms that previously announced main cast members -- Jonica “JoJo” T. Gibbs, Christina Elmore, Gabrielle Graham, Sophina Brown, who were initially cast when Twenties was at the pilot stage at TBS, have been retained for the BET series. The network previously had no comment when Shadow And Act inquired if the cast would roll over. The series is executive produced by Lena Waithe, Susan Fales-Hill (who will also serve as co-showrunner), Rishi Rajani and Andrew Coles.
The official description reads: Created and written by Waithe when she was in her early 20s the eight-episode half-hour series, follows the adventures of a queer Black girl, Hattie, and her two straight best friends, Marie and Nia, who spend most of their days talking ‘ish’ and chasing their dreams. Twenties is a scripted show about friendship, finding love, and messing everything up along the way.
A passion project for Waithe, Twenties actually dates several years back, during the time when the multi-hyphenate, then still up-and-coming, produced a pilot presentation for it.
On the show so far, Waithe says, "For us internally, we’re all very happy with what we’re getting. We have amazing directors, a fresh face cast, a wonderful team of writers. We have a phenomenal queer woman [as] our DP, who’s shooting all of it. BET has been really supportive with whatever we want to do creatively. No one’s given us any notes or putting us through a filter, it’s pure, real down-to-earth character stuff. Comedy, conflict, all the things you want to see in a TV show. It’s been a very wonderful experience."
As far as casting Big Sean, she said, "Big Sean is a star. I was really flattered, he mentioned me [at one of his concerts]. I don’t think he knew this, but I’ve been a fan of his for a really long time. Always loved his music, always loved his craft. I messaged him and he was, like, 'Yo, we should link up at some point.' He’s from Detroit, I’m from Chicago — we’re not Hollywood. We ended up linking up in real life. I kicked it at his crib, we talked [and] got real with each other. He let me listen to music from his new album, which is amazing. I shared with him some of my experiences in the business. We really connected. There was a character, Tristan, we had written that made me think of him. I didn’t even make him read for it, I knew he’d be right. He’s so natural. He’s so good. He’s easy on the eyes, as we all know. The ladies are going to get a kick out of watching him on screen."