Christina Milian Felt ‘So Honored’ To Be ‘Trusted’ To Take Over The Late Naya Rivera’s STARZ ‘Step Up’ Role: I Had Some Days That I Did Cry About It
Christina Milian is opening up about the challenge she faced when replacing the late Naya Rivera for season 3 of Step Up.
As previously reported, Christina Milian was selected to play Collette on the Starz series Step Up, replacing late actress Naya Rivera. Naya Rivera’s family is said to have given the network their blessing to move forward with Christina Milian after Naya Rivera tragically died in 2020.
During a recent interview, singer/actress Christina Milian got candid about playing the character after Naya’s death.
“Stepping into the role of Collette Jones was challenging. It was fun. I felt so honored that they trusted me to play this character, but also knowing the situation. This character has existed for two seasons, has a very strong storyline, and there’s so many layers to this woman.”
“With so much respect to Naya Rivera and her acting, like, I actually was a big fan. As an actress and as a mother, to me, I felt so connected even to that situation, it was a big choice for me to actually even take on the role.”
Christina goes on to admit that it took some time for her to get comfortable with the role.
“When I eventually did make that choice, I think it was a common kind of belief between myself, STARZ, the same thing with Holly [Sorensen], that, hey, you can do this, you can figure it out. We can figure this out consecutively. We can tell this story in a classy way. You can do this, and you can become your own version of Collette. It took me some time. I did do some praying. I even cried, I’ll admit it. I had some days that I did cry about it.”
“It has nothing to do with anybody on set. It was just like, what it is. I think after much prayer and just talking to myself and trusting what this was I said, ‘Okay, trust the process. You deserve this, and now’s your time for the fans of Step Up, for the fans of Naya Rivera, for the fans of Collette Jones to continue this legacy and tell this story in a way that is your own.”
In July 2020, Naya took her 5-year-old son Josey Hollis Dorsey to Lake Piru. The pontoon boat that she rented drifted away while they took a swim. She mustered up the strength to get her son back on the boat. Shortly after, Naya disappeared into the water. After an intense search, Naya’s body was discovered 5 days later. Her death was ruled an “accident.”
Naya’s family then filed a lawsuit claiming that Ventura County was responsible for her death because they didn’t provide the actress with any life-saving devices. County officials argued that Naya Rivera was offered a life jacket, but didn’t accept it. Lake Piru reportedly has a “deadly history,” which was mentioned in the lawsuit. They later reached a settlement.
The TV series Step Up is a drama television series, based on the Step Up film series. The series follows the students and faculty of “High Water,” Atlanta’s most cutthroat performing arts school. When twins Tal and Janelle relocate from Ohio, they find themselves thrust into a world where every move is a test. As they attempt to navigate their new world— on and off the dance floor— they discover just how deep they are willing to dig to realize their dreams and seize their moment.
It premiered on January 31, 2018, on YouTube Red. In May 2018, it was announced that YouTube had renewed a second season; which premiered on March 20, 2019. In August 2019, the series was canceled after two seasons. In May 2020, Starz picked up the series for a third season, which is scheduled to premiere on October 16, 2022.
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