In her hit song, “Cherish the Day,” Sade croons about “deep love” and how she won’t be caught “running” from it. Easier said (or sung) than done, right?
Cue OWN’s upcoming love anthology, aptly titled, Cherish the Day.
Late last year, a group of journalists were invited to the lovely ARRAY Creative Campus in Los Angeles. (It’s a warm and inviting mecca, y’all. They even have church pews.) We were treated to an intimate sit-down with Ava DuVernay, Xosha Roquemore and Alano Miller to chat about the upcoming love anthology, Cherish The Day.
Per the press release via OWN:
Chapter one of Cherish the Day chronicles the stirring relationship of one couple, with each episode spanning a single day. The narrative will unfold to reveal significant moments in a relationship that compel us to hold true to the ones we love, from the extraordinary to the everyday. Xosha Roquemore (The Mindy Project) stars as Gently James and Alano Miller (Underground) stars as Evan Fisher. The couple meet and fall in love in Los Angeles, with the full season spanning five years in eight episodes.
I got a sneak peek at the first four episodes of the show and I immediately thought about my mama. As I’ve mentioned before, my mama’s television spends a lot of his electronic life set to OWN. I vividly remember the day I had to break the news that her new favorite show, Love Is, had been canceled. Well, after catching some of the show, I can confidently say this one will make a welcome substitution in the love drama void.
As Cherish the Day’s episode format spans one single day, The Root sat down with DuVernay, Roquemore and Miller to discuss the pivotal day that changed their lives. Both Roquemore (who is a ball of energy) and Miller (who has an intense pair of eyes that will make the viewer’s heart melt) agree that it is the day they were booked for this very show.
During the group panel, The Root asked DuVernay about her casting process and the significance of finding her leading man and lady. For the director, it was important to capture a “flicker” that would eventually become a “fire.”
“It’s a little give and take for the first two episodes, I didn’t want [their chemistry] to be combustible right away,” DuVernay confirmed. “I thought they were the two actors that had the quality of the ‘slow unfolding’ that I was looking for. Plus, I just want to work with both of them. I’ve been following their work. I felt like Xosha is a leading lady. And I don’t know why nobody else was seeing that. But, they will now.”
“And I feel like [Alano] is a swashbuckling leading man and we need to see it all. All. Yes,” DuVernay chuckled as the group of journalists burst into giggles.
The series also stars Michael Beach, Cicely Tyson, Anne-Marie Johnson and Kellee Stewart. Plus, DuVernay is continuing her propensity to “walk the walk” by achieving full gender parity with Cherish Tthe Day’s production crew of over 50% women, including 18 female department heads. Tyson portrays the wise Miss Luma and she utters one standout line that, to me, fully encapsulates Duvernay in her journey: “Boxes are a prison.”
In addition to looking the “traditional” filmmaking journey in the eye and taking a road less traveled (she told us she first picked up a camera at the age of 33!), DuVernay has tackled several different arenas like documentaries, dramas, miniseries, music videos and more. So, I had to ask DuVernay how she breaks out of boxes so fearlessly...or is it fearlessly?
“To me, it’s fearing less, it’s not not having fear,” DuVernay said. “It’s literally fearing less. And so as I walk into spaces, I’m encountering things or I’m trying to break a ceiling or do whatever I’m doing. I just remind myself [that] I don’t have to be fearless to get it done. I just have to fear less enough to start, fear less enough to begin and to step into it.”
“We’re black people, we’re gon’ make it happen,” DuVernay concluded. That part.
Cherish the Day debuts on OWN in a two-night premiere on Feb. 11 and 12.