Love, Simon’s Keiynan Lonsdale brings authentic queerness to long-awaited return of Step Up

Jonny Yates
·3-min read

Keiynan Lonsdale has been confirmed to star in the television adaption of Step Up.

Following its cancellation in 2019, the drama series is being revamped by Starz TV for its third season, which is expected to debut later this year.

Keiynan will play Tai, an outcast who’s faced persecution for his eccentricities and sexuality but has refused to submit to the expectations of others in his hometown.

In a story true to many LGBT+ people the character perseveres, becoming the pride of his elite dance crew and will be the lead dancer for the tour they’re about to embark on.

His welcomed casting announcement in Step Up comes as the debate around straight actors playing gay characters is making headlines, after Russell T Davies said he specifically cast gay actors in gay roles for his Channel 4 AIDS-drama It’s a Sin, as they brought an “authenticity” to the series.

Keiynan Lonsdale, who identifies as queer, has previously starred in groundbreaking rom-com Love, Simon, which is noted as the first major Hollywood film to focus on a gay teenage romance.

The wider Step Up series centres on Sage Odom, played by Ne-Yo who is the legendary founder of Atlanta’s famed High Water Performing Art School.

Collette, played by Christina Milian, is his partner in art, business and love. She has helped build Sage’s visionary academy from the ground up but when a dark secret comes crashing down on them both, the school and upcoming tour she is tempted by an opportunity to step out of her role as the woman behind the man and become the powerful woman in front of the man.

Other recently announced cast members that will join Keiynan, Ne-Yo and Christina include dancer Rebbi Rosie who’s performed with Beyonce and J Lo, Enrique Murciano known for his role in series Power and Terayle Hill from series Cobra Kai.

It’s based on the hit film series of the same name which originally starred Channing Tatum in his breakout role alongside Jenna Dewan.

Since the original film in 2006 there have been a further four films released as well as series Step Up: High Water which has been picked up by Starz TV following its cancellation after season two.

In the US and Canada the new Step Up series will air on Starz while Europe, Latin America and Japan viewers can watch it on its international streaming platform Starzplay.

The Starzplay streaming service comes with a free trial and is priced at £4.99 per month. You can stream shows and films directly or download the app on your Amazon Fire TV Stick or Apple TV.

Other big shows featured on the platform includes The Great starring Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult, the Emmy-nominated Ramy and the television adaption of High Fidelity starring Zoe Kravitz.

To find out more and to sign up to Starzplay go to www.starz.com.

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