SCREENER TV – The last time we checked in with WGN America’s “Underground,” Rosalee (Jurnee Smollett-Bell) found a small taste of freedom and came face-to-face with a historical legend: Harriet Tubman (Aisha Hinds). It wasn’t easy making it as far as she did, and with Noah (Aldis Hodge) captured and Cato presumed dead, Season 1 set the events that will eventually unfold when the series returns.
And boy will those stakes be raised! Not only do we get a clearer picture of this iteration of Harriet Tubman, the above Season 2 teaser gives a mere glimpse of notorious slave catcher Patty Cannon (Sadie Stratton). The redhead in question led a gang of men who captured and sold free blacks into slavery. Needless to say, she is one of the most violent and amoral women from American history.
Another detail worth surmising here is that Cato (Alano Miller) is very much alive and it looks like he’s involved in some sort of fight ring. While Quentin Tarantino made up Mandingo fighting in “Django Unchained,” and the notion has been proven to be 100% fictional, we can’t help but wonder if something along those lines is what is going on here.
Heading back to rescue the remaining Macon 7, including her beau Noah, Rosalee will have a renewed sense of strength and purpose heading into the new season, for sure. But with the country divided and threats around every corner, something tells us the ongoing mission for freedom will pack a punch more dangerous than she previously faced — if that’s even possible. With Harriet Tubman on her side, though, chances of success look pretty good.
“Underground” Season 2 premieres Wednesday, March 8, 2017 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on WGN America.
HUFFINGTON POST – Taraji P. Henson plays a human computer and NASA whiz in the upcoming 20th Century Fox film “Hidden Figures.”
Based on the upcoming book by Margot Lee Shetterly of the same name, the film focuses on the untold true story of NASA scientists and mathematicians Katherine Johnson (Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe, in her debut role) who helped launch astronaut John Glenn into orbit.
“Hidden Figures” will depict the lives of some of the black women ? and black scientists, period ? who were so integral in NASA’s early 1960s success, but whose stories were silenced for so long.
They may be fresh on the scene, but the latest batch of Hollywood up-and-comers has a retro edge clearly on display in this time-traveling style portfolio.
VANITY FAIR – This crop of young talents has a sense of history—with such heroes as James Dean, Julie Christie, and Audrey Hepburn—not to mention a penchant for books and vinyl. While echoing the styles of decades past, from Rat Pack cool to madcap flair, they divulge their guilty pleasures, karaoke picks, emoji habits, and much more, for a group portrait of Generation Now.
THE WRAP – “You’re just like, ‘All right, take me, Jesus. This is my time’”
While “Underground” has been criticized by some — including Snoop Dogg — for its depiction of slavery in America, series star Aldis Hodge says that the WGN America show is about much more than that.
“It’s an amazing show that is really about the foundation of America; the foundation of American superheroes, the foundation of what it takes to persevere and really find your strength and your potential,” Hodge told TheWrap.
GOLD DERBY – “When it came to representing this particular culture and this particular timeframe for American history, I wanted to show all that we haven’t seen,” says “Underground” star Aldis Hodge as we chat via webcam (watch above) about his hit WGN America series. The actor plays Noah, the leader of a group of runaway slaves who try to escape via the Underground Railroad. “I saw how smart this character was. He’s just so cunning and beguiling when it comes to how he needs to play all of these people around him like chess pieces.”
When we first meet Noah, he’s been brought back to the plantation after an unsuccessful escape attempt. “That’s why he said, ‘I need to go recruit some people,” explains Hodge, “because they have all these different skills that I need.’” This team includes the cunning and crafty Cado (Alano Miller), the shy yet courageous Rosalie (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), and the fiery preacher Moses (Mykelti Williamson).
“At first, they depend on him,” he explains, “but I think along the way, at least for me personally, I feel like he depended on them. Just growing as a man, he grew in mercy, he grew in understanding, he grew in compassion for dealing with all of these people and having them obligated to him and his path. I loved the complexity in him trying to figure out what choice to make, and trying to decide whether or not it is the right choice, because there’s no easy choice.”
EBONY – Najja Parker talks to Jurnee Smollet-Bell, Aldis Hodge about this oddly empowering trek back in history
Get ready to dive deep into your emotions. Jurnee Smollett-Bell and Aldis Hodge take us on a journey through their roles on WGN America’s new show, “The Underground.” This show depicts the struggle and heroic uprising of slaves while trying to obtain freedom from a system of bondage. Hodge plays the role of Noah, a strategic, determined blacksmith who plans to break free from his Southern slave masters and relocate to the North. Along the way he meets Rosalee, a house slave played by Jurnee Smollett-Bell, who has the same determination for freedom and a better life.
Tune in to this interview with our own Najja Parker at the Johnson Publishing Chicago Office as each of them explain their roles more in depth, and the knowledge they gained during the process of filming. “The Underground” premieres tonight on WGN America, check your local listings for show times.