Multihyphenate actress, director, producer and acting coach, Tasha Smith, has been brought on to direct the pilot and second episode of the upcoming FOX drama, “Our Kind of People,” inspired by the book by Laurence Otis Graham and produced by Karin Gist and Lee Daniels.
The project reunites Smith with Fox, Empire and Star co-creator Daniels, Star executive producer Gist and 20th TV. Smith had a major recurring role on Fox/20th TV’s Empire and directed two episode of the network and studio’s Star in addition to reprising her Empire character in a guest-starring stint.
Written by Gist inspired by Lawrence Otis Graham’s provocative, critically praised book Our Kind of People: Inside America’s Black Upper Class, the drama, which received a straight-to-series order for the 2021-22 season, takes place in the aspirational world of Oak Bluffs on Martha’s Vineyard, a historical stronghold where the rich and powerful black elite have come to play for more than 50 years. Our Kind of People follows strong-willed, single mom Angela Vaughn as she sets out to reclaim her family’s name and make an impact with her revolutionary haircare line that highlights the innate, natural beauty of black women. But she soon discovers a dark secret about her mother’s past that will turn her world upside-down and shake up this community forever.
“Magic is something you create, and showrunner Karin Gist has given new life to the special story that is Our Kind of People,” said Smith. “I am honored and thrilled to bring her work to life alongside executive producer Lee Daniels, who is a wonderful producer and mentor to me.”
As an acting coach, through her TSAW Actor’s Workshop, Smith has worked with actors and artists including Mary J. Blige, for her Oscar-nominated performance in Mudbound, and most recently with Andra Day on her Golden Globe winning and Oscar-nominated performance as Billie Holiday in Hulu’s The United States Vs Billie Holiday. Smith is repped by Marsh Entertainment, Verve and attorney Darrell Miller at Fox Rothschild.
Tasha has been taking the helm as director of several television projects including the upcoming STARZ series, “Black Mafia Family,” where she also serves as Executive Producer, directing the pilot along with multiple episodes. We love seeing our sisters winning.