I've been counting down the 525,600 minutes until Fox's upcoming premiere of Rent: Live! hits television screens. Set to air on Sunday, Jan. 27 at 8 p.m., the musical is going to feature a ton of incredibly talented and gifted actors, and I for one am pumped. And, like many fans, I have some cast favorites — one character, in particular, is Joanne, who many remember as the woman that Maureen falls in love with and leaves her boyfriend for. So, who plays Joanne in 'Rent: Live'? Her name is Kiersey Clemons, and she's got a pretty incredible resumé.
The 26-year-old actress has a few films under her belt already, like Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising and Dope. She was recently cast in the upcoming film The Flash, portraying the iconic role of Iris West. With all of Clemons' talent, I'm excited to see her portrayal of Rent's Joanne Jefferson, who is an Ivy League-educated lawyer that ends up as the love interest of Maureen Johnson, a performance artist who will be played by actress Vanessa Hudgens — yes, that Vanessa Hudgens.
I know, fam. I'm excited too.
Clemons took to Instagram on Oct. 29, 2018, to tell her fans the news that she would be playing a role in Fox's live rendition of the Tony Award-winning 1996 Broadway musical.
She wrote, "my gay black heart is no longer inside of my body," and that is a damn mood if I ever heard it:
Clemons has portrayed other LGBTQ characters in the past — including her amazing role in the film Hearts Beat Loud, a comedy-slash-drama starring Clemons alongside actor Nick Offerman as a father and daughter.
In an interview with IndieWire in June 2018, Clemons spoke openly about how excited she was to take on the role of a gay woman where her sexuality wasn't the main narrative's issue.
"Normally, we see movies where the conflict is being gay, and I’m really happy that there’s finally a movie where that’s not the conflict in this person’s life," Clemons told the site. "Although that is the case for some, there are people all over the world that are queer and their conflict isn’t their relationship or their sexuality. It was nice to step away from that typical storyline."
I'm excited to see just how Clemons brings her character to life in Rent: Live — and I'm not going to lie, I'm *pretty* pumped to see the chemistry between her and Hudgens' character.
I mean, just look at how damn perfect this photo of Clemons, Hudgens, and a handful of other Rent: Live cast members is:
Amazing. Obsessed. Love it.
Hudgens went on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon back in December 2018 and shared that, while she's previously played the role of Mimi in a 2010 production of Rent, she was excited to take on the character of Maureen for Fox's rendition.
"Everyone’s really stepping into their own shoes, bringing their own selves into the characters," she told Fallon. "I feel like we’re going to do the story justice."
And you know what? I have a pretty good feeling that she's right. Looking forward to tune in on Jan. 27 when Rent: Live airs on FOX.