"Nobody has ever seen a girl group like this."
That's a big declaration to make, sure, but the trio of newcomers at the center of Star, Lee Daniels' new musical drama at Fox, feel pretty certain that they'll live up to the promise.
E! News sat down with Jude Demorest, Brittany O'Grady and Ryan Destiny, who star as Star, Simone and Alexandra, respectively, on the Atlanta set of the new series, where they explained that this generation's girl groups are nothing like what Daniels has created. "I don't know if there's any girl group we can compare the girl group on the show, but I think that there's definitely some elements of every girl group we can pull from, like Destiny's Child or The Supremes," O'Grady said, before the threesome shouted in unison: "TLC!"
Star tells the story of three talented singers who are running from their pasts and desperate for a new start. With dreams of stardom, they navigate the cutthroat music business on their road to success, but reality soon sets in as they realize their ambition comes at a cost. If Empire is about what fame and fortune do to a person, Star is the inverse—a gritty look at how the quest to get noticed can be equally as damaging and rewarding.
For Demorest, it's that grittiness coupled with the diversity of the trio that excites her about the show. "I think each girl on the show represents a different part of America that doesn't get represented the way that they really are. You see girls who look like us, but they're not from the places that our characters are from and they haven't gone through the things our characters have gone through, and it's very real," she said. "There are a lot of girls experiencing it. I think it will be really awesome for them to see themselves represented." (Fun fact: Demorest is a successful song writer in her own right, having co-written the Fifth Harmony smash "Work from Home.")
"And it's just really fun," Destiny added. "It's a lot of dancing and singing, and I think everyone loves that, you know? Everyone loves seeing that...I think people love seeing three girls come together. I know I did growing up."
The series also stars heavy-hitters such as Queen Latifah as Carlotta, the surrogate mother to the girls, and Benjamin Bratt as Jahil, a down-on-his-luck talent agent looking to revive his career who happens to take a shine to Star. For more from Latifah on her character, as well as more from the girls about how their very first auditions together bonded them, be sure to check out the videos above.
Star has a special premiere tonight at 9 p.m. on Fox, before the series' official debut on Wednesday, Jan. 4 at 9 p.m.