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Janelle Monáe is set to shake up the second season of Homecoming

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Christobel Hastings
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Janelle Monáe is set to succeed Julia Roberts in the second season of Amazon’s psychological thriller Homecoming, the first major role in a TV series for the performer

She sings, she dances, she acts, she produces, she models. When it comes to Janelle Monáe, you can be always certain that the multi-talented star will always be on hand to serve a stunning reinvention.

Now, the multi Grammy award-nominated performer is about to undergo another transformation, as it’s just been announced that she will take the lead in the second season of Amazon’s psychological thriller, Homecoming.

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According to Variety, Monáe will succeed the star of season one, Julia Roberts, who will stay on as executive producer alongside showrunner Sam Esmail in the series. 

Monáe’s character has been described as “a tenacious woman who finds herself floating in a canoe, with no memory of how she got there or who she is,” although it’s as yet unclear whether the original cast members including Bobby Cannavale, Stephan James, Hong Chau and Shea Whigham will return for the second season.

Homecoming will be the first major role in a TV series for Monáe, whose acting career has gone from strength to strength in recent years. In 2016, she made a standout acting debut in the Oscar-winning film Moonlight, which chronicles the life of Chiron, a young black man growing up in Miami, as well as a starring role in the period drama Hidden Figures, the true story of the black women who helped Nasa put astronauts in space. 

The singer-songwriter, who goes by her futuristic alter ego Cindy Mayweather on stage, will also star in Kasi Lemmons’ biopic of the celebrated abolitionist Harriet Tubman later this year, as well as lending her voice to Peg the Pekinese in the upcoming live action remake of Disney’s Lady and the Tramp. She’ll also make an appearance as civil rights activist Dorothy Pitman Hughes in the Gloria Steinem biopic The Glorias: A Life On The Road, directed by Julie Taymor.

Deadline also reports that the new season of Homecoming will make a departure from the first season, based on the podcast of the same name, with a host of new characters on board. In season one, Roberts drew praise for her characterisation of Heidi Bergman, a psychologist who helps soldiers rehabilitate into civilian life at the Homecoming Transitional Support Centre, although the actor was snubbed in the the recent Emmy nominations

Julia Roberts might be a tough act to follow, but with Monáe taking over the reins, Homecoming’s sophomore run will surely be in for a dazzling renaissance. “I don’t apologise to anybody about the kind of artist I am,” she once said in an interview with The Quietus. “Nor will I allow anybody to define who I am either.”

Image: Getty

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Christobel Hastings

Christobel Hastings is a London-based journalist covering pop culture, feminism, LGBTQ and lore.

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