P-Valleys Mercedes star shares struggles away from Starz drama ‘This is real life’

P-Valley: STARZ releases trailer for season two

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Mercedes (played by Brandee Evans) and her dancers at The Pynk are back for a second season of P-Valley, which has so far taken the hit drama from strength to strength. While the veteran dancer, Uncle Clifford (Nicco Annan) and Hailey Colton (Elarica Johnson) struggle to keep the business up and running in the Starz series, Brandee has exclusively told Express.co.uk about her own challenges she faced during the Covid pandemic.

Brandee admitted her dancing career was seriously impacted by the Covid lockdowns.

At the start of P-Valley’s new season, Mercedes’ career has taken a hit as she’s forced to tutor her group of young dancers over Zoom calls.

Outside of the series, Brandee is also a professional dance teacher and choreographer and had to make similar sacrifices to stay afloat.

“As a coach, I watched coaches from dance studios do all these Zooms,” she told Express.co.uk.

“I myself have a dance team in Japan, so I literally was coaching them on Zoom.”

After her gym shut down for the lockdown, Mercedes was trying to meet with as many of her young students as possible through online meetings.

Sadly, she found it difficult to entice the dancers to stay on, much as The Pynk found it hard to bring in business with restrictions and curfews in place.

Brandee continued: “So when this came up, I was like, ‘Oh, this is real life’.

“You’re literally on this Zoom, talking to the girls. Trying to keep them active, trying to keep them engaged.”

Showrunner Katori Hall prides herself on bringing real-life issues into the world of Chucalissa, and P-Valley’s second season has gone above and beyond with the inclusion of the pandemic.

While the writers researched how some real strip clubs managed to survive the lockdowns, one of the show’s biggest stars was also forced to get creative to support herself.

“So, that once again plays to the authenticity of what was happening in real life,” Brandee said.

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“And also, how do you keep making money? All of us had to get creative with our technology in some sense.

“How do we continue to provide for ourselves and our families when we’re stuck in the home?

“A bedroom becomes your gym, and you have to keep going because the bills are still going.”

This year in the series, Mercedes is facing even more challenges after her young daughter Terricka (A’zaria Carter) announced she was pregnant.

In episode seven, Jackson, Mercedes takes her out of town and weigh the pros and cons of getting an abortion or having the baby.

Ultimately, Mercedes leaves that difficult decision with Terricka, although she can’t help but feel haunted by her religious mother Patrice (Harriett D Foy).

Thankfully, the dancer still has her colleagues at The Pynk on hand for support, though it’s still anyone’s guess if Mercedes will be able to get her gym back up and running.

P-Valley season 2 continues Sundays on Starz in the USA and StarzPlay in the UK.

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