Janelle Monae

De La Resistance: Janelle Monáe to star as iconic entertainer, WWII spy and activist Josephine Baker in new TV series

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De La Resistance is the new TV drama that will blend espionage, entertainment and activism – and Janelle Monáe will be leading the cast as icon Josephine Baker.  

Grammy award nominee and SAG award winner Janelle Monáe can really do no wrong in our eyes. As well as recently confirming she’s non-binary and educating the public about pronoun preference, the Moonlight actor is confirmed to star in Netflix’s anticipated second instalment of Knives Out

In the past week, Monáe has also wowed us with her iconic and bejewelled look at this year’s Met Gala and it seems as though the star was highlighting an exciting upcoming role of hers. A longtime fan of Josephine Baker, Monáe has now been confirmed to star in upcoming TV series De La Resistance, which will focus on Baker’s life.

According to Deadline: “The focus of the drama will be on Baker’s role as a spy for the Allies during the French resistance helping defeat the Nazis, and on her experience as one of the world’s most iconic, talented and glamorous entertainers.” 

Janelle Monae
Janelle Monáe will star as Josephine Baker in new TV series De La Resistance and used her as Met Gala outfit inspiration.

A24 is behind the project – the company behind recent standout film Everything Everywhere All At Once and Jessie Buckley’s Men. It’s safe to say, then, that the new series will be as endearing as it is informative.

Baker was an American-born French entertainer and was world renowned as one of the best. Most interestingly, though, she was also a French resistance agent and civil rights activist. She was the first Black woman to star in a major motion picture (1927’s Siren Of The Tropics) and her costumes – such as her skirt of artificial bananas and beaded necklaces – became iconic of the jazz and roaring twenties era of the time.

She was celebrated among her peers and became known as “Black Venus” and the “Creole Goddess” but renounced her American citizenship in 1937 upon marrying French industrialist Jean Lion. 

Josephine Baker
Josephine Baker was one of the world's most iconic entertainers and is the focus of new TV series De La Resistance.

Later on in her life, she was an active French Resistance agent during the second world war, a line of work that she received several Honours for. As well as refusing to perform for segregated audiences in the US, Baker is also remembered for her other contributions to the American civil rights movement.

Monáe is known for her roles in Hidden Figures and Harriet, performances that were hard-hitting and thought-provoking in equal measure, while offering viewers an integral chance to learn more about an under-represented slice of history. We just know that this upcoming biopic series will be in the same vein and that’s why the excitement is real.

While the series is currently being fought over by multiple streamers, we’ll be sure to update you as soon as know more about De La Resistance.

Watch this space. 

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