Christina Milian Is Replacing Naya Rivera as ‘Collette’ in the Starz Show ‘Step Up’
“Step Up” originally starred Naya Rivera and Ne-Yo as Collette Jones and Sage Odom–business partners and lovers who run the prestigious High Water Performing Arts School in Atlanta.
The series premiered in 2018 on YouTube Red and ran for two seasons before being cancelled. It was renewed and picked up by premium cable channel Starz in May of 2020–just months before Naya Rivera’s tragic drowning in July.
In a statement, Milian acknowledged her predecessor while also expressing joy at being able to take on this new role.
“I am so excited to join the Step Up family,” Milian said. “I know I have massive shoes to fill. Naya was incredible. I hope to honor Naya, her family, friends and fans with a great performance.”
Ne-Yo, who worked closely with Naya Rivera in the previous seasons, also put out a statement praising the legacy of Naya Rivera.
“There is no replacing Naya. Let’s get that straight,” Ne-Yo wrote. “Her spirit lives on in our memories and every part of what this show is and will be.”
He added that Milian has “big shoes to fill” but he was is “certain of her ability to bring an energy and light to this character that Naya’s fans as well as the rest of the world will love.”
He concluded: “We’ve welcomed Christina with absolute open arms and have rallied around her with love and support. I’m excited and can’t wait for the world to see this!”
According to Starz, the decision to recast the character came after careful consideration and consulting with Rivera’s family.
“Naya’s death was a terrible loss to our world that we will, frankly, never stop mourning,” said creator and executive producer Holly Sorensen.
“It was almost impossible to consider there could be someone so graceful and loving who could both help us honor our loss, while also bringing a deep reservoir of talent to our show, in so many areas. Christina is an exceptional human and a dazzling performer and we are so happy she has joined our family.”
Starz will start airing the first two seasons of “Step Up” on their channel starting in early March, when viewers will be able to watch Rivera in one of her final roles.
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