When you are taking part in considered one of “the primary girls of hip-hop,” you higher be capable of rap.
But in her audition for the role of Salt in Lifetime’s “Salt-N-Pepa” biopic, which premieres Saturday at 8 p.m., GG Townson flubbed the stream to the groundbreaking group’s 1993 hit “Shoop.”
“We needed to put together a rap for the preliminary audition,” says Townson, 30. “Because I used to be accustomed to ‘Shoop,’ I used to be like, ‘Oh yeah, I can get it!’ But being in the room, my mind was like, ‘Nope, you do not keep in mind the phrases.’ I believed that there was no manner that they had been gonna name me again.”
But since remodeling into Cheryl “Salt” James, Townson has upped her “Shoop” recreation. “Now I’m word-perfect, and I can rap it in my sleep,” she says.
Besides director Mario Van Peebles, Townson (Bounce TV’s “In the Cut”) needed to go the final word take a look at with the real-life Salt and Pepa, who served as government producers. “What I did not know on the time, Cheryl and Sandy [Denton, aka Pepa] had been watching the entire course of,” she says. “They had been handpicking who may undergo.”
Although Townson was “nervous” about assembly the “Push It” rapper in particular person, Salt instantly put her comfy. “It wasn’t a ‘Ooh, let me measurement this lady up,’ ” she says. “It was simply love.”
In addition to researching her role by watching old SNP interviews and music movies, Townson bought useful perception straight from Salt. “It was extra me studying [about] who she was,” she says. “We talked typically. If she wasn’t on set, we had been on FaceTime, we had been texting all day. The communication was very fluid. But there have been a number of occasions the place we had been speaking about stuff that had nothing to do with the movie.”
That connection developed into an actual friendship: “Even to today, she nonetheless checks in: ‘Baby lady, are you OK? What’s occurring? How’s life?’ It’s a tremendous bond.”
Townson additionally bonded with Laila Odom, who performs Pepa. “Me and Laila knew one another previous to the audition course of, however we weren’t like finest mates,” she says. “As the filming went on, [our] relationship bought nearer. We spent actual time with one another off set. That’s why the chemistry is so good onscreen. It wasn’t something that we needed to activate as soon as we started working.
“It was dope the way in which that it labored out.”
As for rocking the entire iconic Salt-N-Pepa seems re-created in the movie, “it was completely superb,” says Townson. “I believe my favourite coiffure was the finger wave, a lot in order that even after we had stopped taking pictures, for almost all of 2020 I used to be rocking a brief lower as a result of I simply fell in love with it that a lot.”
Townson’s late grandfather, Ronald Townson, is a member of the Grammy-winning group the fifth Dimension (“Up, Up and Away,” “Wedding Bell Blues”), so she had “musical blood in the household.” And she has a recurring role on the brand new season of the CW’s “All American” as singer Lil Jewel.
“So I believe the universe is telling me that I must put out an album,” says Townson. “Maybe. You by no means know. Coming from a music household, I really feel like everyone anticipated me to go full power with the music.”
For now, although, she’s proud to rejoice the music legacy of Salt-N-Pepa.
“I believe that it is essential as a result of they had been and are the primary girls of hip-hop,” she says. “I like the truth that …they’re telling their story and getting their roses whereas they’re alive.”