Shannon Thornton ready for her position in P-Valley, the Starz dramedy concerning the lives of dancers at a Mississippi strip membership known as the Pynk, by getting actually into Southern rap—particularly, rap from New Orleans. “I used to be doing loads of analysis, nevertheless it was Juvenile and the Scorching Boys that made me go loopy,” she says over Zoom. “Now, at any time when we wish to have an excellent time in my trailer I placed on Juvenile.”
Southern rap is the spine of P-Valley, which launched its second season earlier this summer time. From regional classics to smaller gems that may make you pull out Shazam, the soundtrack makes the situation really feel lived in. This season, a couple of of the memorable needle drops have included Memphis underground hit DJ Zirk’s “Lock Em in Da Trunk” and Rick Ross’ “Hustlin,” together with a visitor look by New Orleans bounce legend Huge Freedia. In the meantime, one of many present’s characters is a rapper named Lil Murda—performed by J. Alphonse Nicholson in a breakout position—and the unique songs he performs truly aren’t horrible.
P-Valley’s first season was one of many welcome tv surprises of the summer time of 2020. The drama in and across the Pynk hooked me like an excellent cleaning soap opera and was my introduction to a deep-benched ensemble, together with Thornton as a world-weary sweetheart named Keyshawn. The dancing was probably the most breathtaking facet, although. Thornton remembers being put by way of an intensive bootcamp taught by award-winning pole dancers, together with some who’ve labored in Atlanta’s famed Magic Metropolis, to develop her abilities. This thoroughness extends to each facet of the dance scenes: Usually shot from the perspective of the dancers, the sharp choreography, mystical lighting, and fluid movement of the digital camera makes the strikes look magical, whereas highlighting the bodily calls for of the athletic feat.
That eager eye for capturing the pole-dancing scenes has carried into the darker and extra surreal second season, the place Keyshawn has left the Pynk and constructed a money-making basis of her personal, beneath the watch of her controlling boyfriend. Keyshawn steps into the limelight within the season’s fifth episode, which explores her background and the way she ended up in such a depressing and predatory relationship. It’s carried by Thornton’s susceptible efficiency, as she goes from excited and filled with ambition to damaged and fearful in a snap.
From her residence in L.A., along with her cat leaping out and in of her lap, Thornton caught up with Pitchfork to debate how being on considered one of tv’s most musical exhibits proper now has formed her style.