A new television series from Lee Daniels, the co-creator of Empire, will combine Dreamgirls with iconic 1990 drag ball documentary Paris is Burning. Starring newcomer Jude Demorest as Star, Queen Latifah, Lenny Kravitz and trans model Amiyah Scott, it’s already checking all the right boxes. Naomi Campbell will also guest star.
Star is about a down-at-heel trio of singers who are waiting for their big break in Atlanta. All three have gone through life with no money, coasting on the ambitious fumes of becoming a star. They’ve experienced knock after knock navigating the cutthroat music industry when Jahil (Benjamin Bratt) takes the group on as manager. Everything starts looking up. However, he may not have the best of intentions.
“You’ll see the girls with the gay boys voguing in a way [TV audiences] have yet to see. It will be very much like Paris Is Burning, which influenced me growing up” – Lee Daniels
In an interview with Billboard, Daniels said that Star will be “the complete antithesis of Empire.”What he did compare it to, though, should get manyfans of voguing and drag excited. “That performance that Teyana Taylor did at the MTV Video Music Awards? Well, we’re going to get down in the dirt with mine,” he said, adding, “You’ll see the girls with the gay boys voguing in a way [TV audiences] have yet to see. It will be very much like Paris Is Burning, which influenced me growing up.”
Daniels also likened it to John Waters’ Female Trouble, saying, “I don’t know whether you ever saw the first 15 minutes of John Waters’ Female Trouble, but these girls will do whatever it takes. They’ll murder. They’ll f— you. They’ll rob you. [The characters] Star and Simone are very, very poor. They come from the foster-care system, and we explore the atrocities that happen there.”