Currently airing its second season, Oprah Winfrey and Ava DuVernay’s Queen Sugar has left its mark on television with the at-odds Bordelon siblings and its depiction of the modern African-American experience. The cast dropped by Entertainment Weekly: The Show to dish on what it’s like to work with DuVernay and be behind-the-scenes of such an emotional show.
“It was totally an experiment,” Dawn-Lyen Gardner says as she recounts what DuVernay told her when auditioning for Queen Sugar. “For us, we were all hopeful and wanting folks to respond to the love that we put into it but didn’t know. And receiving it — it’s almost been shocking!”
“Even when we’re doing those incredibly emotional scenes where we’re all drained, there’s such a feeling of support,” revealed Gardner. “It’s really a show based on love.”
It’s also a show that’s been helmed by a number of female filmmakers in its second season, including returning director Kat Candler (Hellion), Cheryl Dunye (Stranger Inside), DeMane Davis (Lift), Aurora Guerrero (Mosquita y Mari), and Amanda Marsalis (Echo Park) with DuVernay directing the season finale, something the cast notes as “completely game-changing.”
“It’s all good,” adds Kofi Siriboe, “I really want to see what happens in five years.”
You can watch the entire clip above. Queen Sugar airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on OWN.