Naya Rivera’s new function takes her again to a performing arts highschool, solely this time, she’s not the one dancing. After spending six seasons as Glee’s Santana Lopez, the actress is switching gears and tackling the function of a highschool administrator on Step Up: Excessive Water, accessible Wednesday, Jan. 31, on YouTube Crimson.
Rivera performs Colette Jones, a trainer who runs the varsity whereas its founder, Ne-Yo’s character, Sage Odom, is out of city “being a celebrity.” A former singer and dancer whose profession ended due to a knee harm, Jones has stepped off the dance flooring. “She form of places all of her ardour into this college and these children and serving to them attain their goals and make it,” Rivera instructed InStyle throughout a go to to our places of work Wednesday.
“It was enjoyable as a result of I’ve by no means performed true to my age earlier than. It was actually refreshing to do this. It felt good,” she added. “I get to discover completely different storylines and themes with enjoying somebody who’s older.”
She hasn’t stepped too far out of the Glee world, although. She was provided the half by government producer Adam Shankman, who beforehand directed episodes of the hit musical present. “It truly took place in a humorous means as a result of Adam Shankman simply, like, texted me at some point. It was summer time and I keep in mind I used to be going to scorching yoga and I checked my cellphone and he’s like, ‘Do you’ve a summer time job?’ And I’m like, ‘No, do you’ve one for me? I can stroll canines. I’m good with youngsters. I often sing, dance, and act,’” she joked. “And he’s like, ‘Yeah, maintain on.’ And the subsequent factor I do know I’m in Atlanta, like, the subsequent week.”
A number of the present’s crew additionally crossed over to the brand new Step Up sequence, making the vibe on set really feel acquainted for the star. However Step Up: Excessive Water borrows much more from its grittier movie predecessor, starring Channing and Jenna Dewan Tatum, than it does from the upbeat TV sequence Glee.
“I believe that the storylines in our present are a bit extra edgy,” Rivera instructed us, evaluating the brand new present to the unique movie Step Up. “It’s very actual and it’s very uncooked and gritty. However the dancing you may anticipate to be the identical and superb.”
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The Tatums, who star within the authentic Step Up, have now stepped behind the scenes as government producers, however their presence remains to be felt. “I do know that Jenna was very instrumental in getting Ne-Yo on the present,” Rivera mentioned. [Jenna and Ne-Yo work together on NBC’s World of Dance.]
Other than Rivera and Ne-Yo, the forged consists of many younger, rising stars within the dance world, who play college students attempting to make it huge. “These individuals on this forged are so proficient, it’s mind-blowing,” she mentioned.
As for her Glee castmates, Rivera mentioned, “We all the time communicate. We all the time do. I’ll say that. We’re like an enormous household.” (Glee’s current headlines have taken on a somber tone, as at some point earlier than our interview, Rivera’s former co-star and ex-boyfriend Mark Salling was discovered lifeless in an obvious suicide.)
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The actress is mother to 2-year-old son Josey, who’s beginning to perceive his mother’s day job. “I attempted to have him watch Glee some time in the past, and he wasn’t into TV or motion pictures but. However now he’s actually into DVDs and sure motion pictures. So he was within the closet the opposite day selecting out a DVD with me, and there’s a Glee DVD and he’s like, ‘Hey, momma on the duvet.’ And I used to be like, ‘It’s!’” Rivera mentioned.
Watch the primary season of Step Up: Excessive Water, accessible now on YouTube Crimson, free for the primary 4 episodes.