(CBS Local)– There has never been a show on TV like “The Chi.”
Created by Lena Waithe, “The Chi” is now in its second season on Showtime and recently it was announced that the program is coming back for another season. Yolonda Ross had never spent anytime in Chicago prior to “The Chi” and got a crash course in what life is really like in the Windy City. This was also the first time Ross became a series regular when she got the role of Jada.
“Jada was probably one of the easiest characters I’ve ever done,” said Ross in an interview with CBS Local. “She is the most like me. When I read for it, the writing just came out. It wasn’t difficult to remember the lines because they were things I would already say or my sisters would say. And it’s in the way we would say it.”
“The Chi” depicts life on the South Side of Chicago for kids, parents, young adults trying to establish themselves, criminals and police officers. Ross loves working with someone like Lena Waithe because she was finally allowed to write for herself and her community.
“Let black people write for black characters,” said Ross. “Let each group write for themselves. If you’re capable why not, why would you hold somebody back from that. It just makes the voice more authentic. 10 years ago, it’s a different story in our business. Right now, there’s so many things opening up. I feel like its youth pushing. We’ve been black in neighborhoods forever. It changes the tone of what’s out there.”
While Ross is enjoying her experience on “The Chi,” she’ll never forget working with Denzel Washington on his directorial debut “Antwone Fisher.”
“I really like working with actors that are directors,” said Ross. “They know how we communicate and they know how to get the shot in a short amount of time. He was great and knew what he wanted and knew how to get it from us. I thought it was wonderful to work with him and I’d love to work with him again.”
Watch “The Chi” Sunday nights at 10pm EST on Showtime and on the Showtime Anytime App.