Disney’s “Saturdays” – Cast & Creator Interview
Saturdays is a new Disney Channel show that premieres on March 24th. It centers around three best friends, Paris, Simone, and Ari, who form the We-B-Girlz skate crew, determined to show and prove they have the hottest skate routines on the planet.
What Was The Inspiration Behind Saturdays?
When talking to Norman Vance Jr. and Marsai Martin about why they created Saturdays, they offer some truly inspiring words. Norman explains that when you turn the TV on now, you can’t watch a show without seeing roller skating, and so it just made sense. “Coming from our backgrounds and the type of stories we wanted to tell about community and talking about friendships, it felt like this is the best place to tell it. This is the best story to tell about a family who’s together. A girl who’s grown up with her friends.” He says they wanted to do a show about the best day of the week, which is Saturday, when you get together with your friends. It was important to them to not have a lot of cell phone use in the series, but rather adventures that they go on together.
Marsai adds, “telling a story that has so many layers and levels to it when it comes from family friendship skating, and also telling it from a young black girls point of view is absolutely amazing.” She says this was an opportunity to put that out there. She recalls wanting her favorite Disney Channel shows back in the day and talking about them with her friends, and being able to create something that kids will talk about is amazing for her.
Did You Know How To Skate Before This Show?
There is a whole lot of roller skating in this series. Everyone shows off their skills and is extremely talented. So of course, we had to find out if they could always skate, or if the “skating boot camp” ahead of filming is how they got so good.
Danielle Jalade explains that skating is a big part of the LA culture, so she grew up skating a little bit with her friends. “I would never try to learn any of the tricks or moves because that was way too terrifying. But I would definitely skate around and just have fun. But when practicing before filming, and while filming, I got to learn all these different types of moves. And I got to learn the JB style of skating, which is the Chicago style, which I think is so cool.”
Daria Johns is actually from Chicago, so she knows the JB (James Brown) style of skating well which she describes as a “funky groove” way of skating. “But being on set, I learned more new tricks. And I definitely honed my skills.”
Peyton Basnight confesses that she did not know how to skate before the show. She is from North Carolina originally, but when she moved to Georgia, which has a bigger skate community, it was never something that anyone she hung out with did. “So I definitely learned how to skate for the show.”
Jermaine Harris says that he would go skating a lot with his friends growing up. “We had one roller skating rink in my hometown where everybody would go on Fridays and Saturdays. I already knew how to skate beforehand. But after going through skate camp, it for sure improved my skills tenfold. Now I’m extremely competent.”
Tim Johnson Jr. explains that while he skated a little when he was younger, he was never good. He jokes that the skate camp was great for bonding — him bonding with the floor. But he rose up and is now much better at it.
What Would Destroy You If You Lost It?
In one of the episodes of Saturdays, Jermaine’s character London loses his hair pick, and he doesn’t know what to do with himself. He locks himself away to the point where he smells. So we asked Jermaine Harris and Tim Johnson Jr. what item would destroy them if they lost it. Tim claims that while he is an expert at losing important things like his wallet and phone, he would never hide away to the point where he smells.
As for Jermaine? He has to agree with his character. He says that he has actually lost his pick before, and he didn’t know what to do with himself. “So telling this story, it was so cool. Because this is something that a lot of people can relate to, especially in our community.”
“Saturdays” premieres on the Disney Channel on March 24th and will arrive on Disney+ shortly after.