Christina Milian, the actor and Grammy-nominated singer, has joined the cast of Starz’s “Step Up” series, taking over the role originally played by Naya Rivera, who died in July 2020.
Milian will play Collette, the character Rivera originated in the series’ first two seasons as a YouTube original scripted show.
Starz acquired the series, inspired by the popular “Step Up” dance franchise, in May 2020. Filming for a third season began in Atlanta this month. The previous two seasons will be available on Starz’s platforms beginning March 5, and episodes will air on Starz Fridays at 8 p.m. ET/PT that same day.
“I am so excited to join the ‘Step Up’ family,” said Milian in a statement. “I know I have massive shoes to fill. Naya was incredible. I hope to honor Naya, her family, friends and fans with a great performance.”
The “Step Up” series stars Faizon Love, Jade Chynoweth, Carlito Olivero, Terrence Green, Eric Graise, Kendra Oyesanya and Tricia Helfer, who joins the cast in a series regular role. Singer Ne-Yo will also returns in his co-starring role.
“Naya’s death was a terrible loss to our world that we will, frankly, never stop mourning,” said series creator and executive producer Holly Sorensen. “It was almost impossible to consider there could be someone so graceful and loving who could both help us honor our loss, while also bringing a deep reservoir of talent to our show, in so many areas. Christina is an exceptional human and a dazzling performer and we are so happy she has joined our family.”
Starz and Lionsgate Television produce the “Step Up” series. Along with Sorenson, Adam Shankman and Jennifer Gibgot, who produced the original “Step Up” films, serve as executive producers on the show through their Offspring Entertainment banner. Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan, who both co-starred in the original “Step Up” film, executive produce through Free Association production company and Everheart Productions, Inc., respectively. Erik Feig, who served as producer on all the films and oversaw the franchise while an executive at Lionsgate, is executive producing via his production shingle Picturestart. Bill Brown also serves as a writer and executive producer, and Dawn Wilkinson will serve as director and executive producer.