Lena Waithe has been keeping herself busy with project after project, serving as creator on The Chi, executive producing Boomerang, acting in Westworld Season 3, and scoring her first feature-length writing credit on the upcoming Queen & Slim. She's also set to helm a new BET comedy titled Twenties, and she's already tapped Big Sean for his acting debut.
In a conversation with Variety about the new series, which will debut on BET next year, Waithe revealed that she first spoke with Sean about him joining the show after he shouted her out during a concert. She reached out over social media, and eventually they met up to discuss the role. "I love Lena because of her spirit and determination to win," Sean said. "She has an unstoppable hunger and in this industry, that’s what you need. It’s one of the qualities I see in myself. She’s amazing for giving me my first chance to act and not playing myself, but actually playing a character. It’s something I take seriously."
Twenties has received an eight-episode order and will also star "JoJo" T. Gibbs, Christina Elmore, Gabrielle Graham, and Sophina Brown. "Big Sean is a star. I was really flattered, he mentioned me [at one of his concerts]. I don’t think he knew this, but I’ve been a fan of his for a really long time," Waithe said. "Always loved his music, always loved his craft. I messaged him and he was, like, 'Yo, we should link up at some point.' He’s from Detroit, I’m from Chicago—we’re not Hollywood."
During their meeting, Waithe got to listen to music from Sean's new album while Waithe discussed the role she had in mind for him in Twenties. "There was a character, Tristan, we had written that made me think of him," she added. "I didn’t even make him read for it, I knew he’d be right. He’s in about three episodes and he’s phenomenal. He’s so natural. He’s so good. He’s easy on the eyes, as we all know. The ladies are going to get a kick out of watching him on screen."
Meanwhile, Waithe also bagged a huge collaborator for Queen & Slim, described as a modern-day Bonnie and Clyde. Directed by Melina Matsoukas (Lemonade, Insecure), it's now set to be scored by Blood Orange.