The cast of ‘Kings of Napa’ on the new OWN series, Black wealth on TV and more
The series follows the King family and takes viewers into the soapy, dramatic and thrilling world of wine country
Kings of Napa, OWN’s latest scripted series, made a splash on Tuesday night and already has fans talking about it.
The addictive family drama takes viewers into the gorgeous and fabulous world of the King family in Napa Valley, California, who are described as an, “aspirational African American family whose wealth and status lands them on the pages of design magazines and society pages.”
While their family wine business has lifted them up and brought success for years, the series focuses on the three King siblings when power is suddenly up for grabs within the business. The show follows them as they, “uncover deceptions that threaten to tear them and their kingdom apart.”
TheGrio caught up with the cast of Kings of Napa to understand their process filming the series and what drew them to the project in the first place.
“Reading the script, I got giddy,” Yaani Mondschein, who plays Bridgette Pierce in the series, told us.
“It’s a show with wealthy Black people, but we’re not shoving our wealth in anyone’s face. It’s just something that exists, which is something I know was missing in TV and film that I was seeing.”
She added the nuanced family dynamic also, “sucked her right into the story.”
“It was the excellence of Black people at that level,” Devika Parikh shared when discussing what piqued her interest. “I love the fact that these characters are intelligent, educated, they are doing something that I love which is wine…but it is something that is very unique…it just shows you another level of class of Black people. For me it was showing this type of lifestyle with an African American family, and then those juicy nuggets of drama.”
Karen LeBlanc, who plays the family matriarch, Vanessa, told us it was as if the character “sang to her” when she first read it.
“I just understood Vanessa completely,” she explained. “She’s queen of the verbal drive-by and I absolutely love it…I love the drama and the layered characters we get to play.”
Ashlee Brian (Christian King), reveals it was a scene with Rance Nix‘s character Dana that immediately had her interested.
“Dana speaks another language and when I read that I was like, ‘I have never seen a Black person speak this language on television or in a movie before,'” she explained. “Their knowledge of culture, their love of art…that really made me excited and say, ‘Yeah, this something I want to portray, this is a family I want to bring to the screen.'”
Nix refers to the refreshing representation as the “post come-up family.” He explained, “A lot of times we see Black families working hard to achieve ‘The American Dream’…the Kings have achieved the dream! Now, we’re exploring how to maintain the dream and how to continue to run a successful business while dealing with the trials and tribulations of any family.”
Kings of Napa airs Tuesday nights at 8 p.m. on OWN.
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