Yaya DaCosta stars as Angela Vaughn, a hair care entrepreneur in Fox’s new soapy drama “Our Kind of People,” and she or he drew inspiration from her longtime hair stylist, Chioma Valcourt.
“I say it jokingly but seriously as well — she’s a real-life Angela Vaughn. To be honest, when I first read the script, I immediately thought of her. And I’m grateful that she’s the one creating my styles on the show,” DaCosta, 38, instructed The Post on the cellphone from North Carolina, the place she’s presently filming the present.
“We don’t get to see enough of realistic-looking closeness between mothers and daughters, especially with a teenage daughter,” she mentioned. “For me, it was important to show Angela taking care of her daughter. And those are qualities I see in Chioma as well [in her life]. So, it was a lovely reminder every day to go to the trailer, have her do my hair and feel like we’re in a world that we understand.”
Exec produced by Lee Daniels and created by Karin Gist (“Grey’s Anatomy”), “Our Kind of People” (Tuesdays at 9 p.m.) follows Angela Vaughn (DaCosta), a single mother and entrepreneur from Boston who’s transferring to Oak Bluffs, Mass. — a city in Martha’s Vineyard brimming with elite and rich African American households the place her late mother as soon as labored as a maid — together with her teen daughter, Nikki (Alana Bright) and her aunt, Patricia (Debbi Morgan).
“A lot of the etiquette and a lot of the style at events [on the show] like the cotillion pulled so much from a culture that is not necessarily ours ancestrally,” mentioned DaCosta, who grew up in Harlem. “I found that to be interesting, but also empowering — because this is the western world that we were thrust into centuries ago. So, these were the ways that people found to be able to navigate it, and feel empowered in doing so.”
As she acclimates to life on this glamorous higher crust world, Angela discovers secrets and techniques about her late mom’s previous, encounters rivals similar to Leah Franklin-Dupont (Nadine Ellis) and her husband Raymond (Morris Chestnut) and new flame, native businessman Tyrique (Lance Gross). It’s all inspired by a e book, “Our Kind of People: Inside America’s Black Upper Class,” by Lawrence Otis Graham.
“I bought the book immediately as soon as I got the job,” she mentioned. “The thing about something being ‘inspired by’ is that it’s not a carbon copy. So, anyone who really loved the book will watch the show and see some similarities, but you’re not going to see the book. As long as people understand that and allow us the space to take them on our journey that’s set in this place, I think it will all come together beautifully.”
DaCosta, who has additionally performed Whitney Houston (in Lifetime’s 2015 movie “Whitney”) and starred on NBC’s “Chicago Med,” as expertise on the earth of magnificence that Angela offers with on the present, since she was the runner up in Cycle 3 of “America’s Next Top Model.”
“I really believe that every experience I’ve had in my personal and professional life has prepared me in some way for this moment,” she mentioned.
For occasion, she cited a time in highschool when she was given the yearbook superlative of “Most hairstyles ever in the school year,” not realizing that sooner or later, “My obsession with hair from youth would actually come in handy when I’m on set,” she mentioned. “You don’t need to zoom in on a body double to have a hand in someone’s hair actually cornrowing — because I do that.”