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► Elarica Johnson: behind the scenes of P Valley

Elarica Johnson, the interpreter of Autumn Night, tells us more about season 2 of P Valley. The transformation of her character into a real “boss lady”, her inspirations borrowed from Destiny’s Child to create her accent, the best technique for making it rain money… P Valley won’t stop surprising you!

Can you tell us more about your character development this season?

You will see a big difference with Autumn this season. It is mainly becauseshe fits a little more in the skin of Hailey Colton, so we can no longer see who she is. Last season she was very secretive covered with wigs, but and who is the person behind this chameleon?

This season, she now has the space to be the boss she always was. She has a background in accounting, so she’s perfectly placed to talk about money. Now that she has her share of the club and a really big one, you definitely see a huge change, and she’s very bossy. It happened very quickly and it is not always accepted in the best way. So she has a little more trouble this season. I think if you transform and become someone new, everyone is like, “Who is that?” “.

Being in charge in a place where there are a lot of strong personalities is difficult. Throughout the season, relationships are definitely affected by the new role she takes on. So yeah, I think some people may have sympathy for her and others may hate her, unfortunately.

But in the end we still end up falling in love with the character…

Yes, she’s adorable and she always has good intentions, but she definitely walks over people to get where she needs to go. Which is not very nice… I hope the love for her in the first season will continue in the second season.

Your biggest challenge this season?

I think the biggest challenge to talk about is COVID. This has never been a situation in my career and in most people’s careers. The wearing of the mask, the distance and even the moments you spend with your team members to go over certain things or discuss certain situations in scenes that we had before and that we took for granted, there was more room for it because the distance was extremely important. The green room was now a huge room and everyone was in a corner, far apart with masks and protections. So that was the hardest part of filming Season 2.

You are British, how did you work on your accent? What were your inspirations to help you work and get into the skin of your character?

When I started to prepare the show for season 1, they made me watch Beyonce and Kellyso I looked lots of Destiny’s Child video interviews. Autumn has a Houston accent, so I guess it’s closer to Beyoncé, but then she worked in this financial world and so it’s just a weaker accent. Even now, when it’s changed a bit and she’s taken on the Mississippi accent, Chuchalissa, because she’s been there for a while, every time I do it, I think of that interview I’m watching with Beyoncé and it happens. [rires]

The strip club culture is very different in Europe, in London you can find gentlemen’s clubs, there are a few places in Pigalle in Paris, but in the US it seems to be on another level. Can you share with us some of your experiences and what you learned while playing this role?

There are different types of strip clubs. In England, I visited one or two, and the girls dancing there are very small, sexy and sweet, and it’s great. This is the environment in which we dance in these kinds of clubs. I think there are also some in the United States. While in Atlanta strip clubs, the environment is loud, the music is a lot of rap and hip-hop. The culture is different in these places.

Girls are athletes, performers. The first time I went to a strip club in Atlanta, it was like Cirque du Soleil, but naked ! I was literally like a child: “Oh my God, this is amazing!”. I learned so much from the dancers. They’re wonderful, we have some amazing, incredibly talented girls on the show. I feel lucky to have been able to see their world and be part of it, but I don’t think I’ll ever get to their level because, wow! wow!

Did you rain the tickets on stage?

Oh my God, maybe once. To entertain someone else, that was pretty much it, but you gotta do it at Atlantic, you gotta do it. If you don’t throw money away, they’ll call you and everyone will stare at you, and that’s quite a story. So you absolutely have to have money if you want to make it rain no matter what you do, you absolutely have to throw money at the girls, and they deserve it.

So if there was some kind of technique or trick to make the money rain well, what would it be?

I’m no expert on this, I know there is some movement. But I can’t do it. I mean, you can try. I just tend to do this and this and it’s raining (tickets)…

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P Valley is available now in France on STARZPLAY, with new episodes every Sunday !
Find the interviews of the cast members here: Shannon Thornton, Brandee Evans, Nicco Annan

Editor: Marianna-Juliette
Transcription: Juliette V.

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