From writer/executive producer Karin Gist, executive producer Lee Daniels, 20th Television, and Fox Entertainment, Tasha Smith has been selected to helm the pilot and second episode of Fox’s drama series Our Kind Of People.
Smith will work with Fox, Empire, and Star co-creator Daniels, Star executive producer Gist, and 20th TV on the project. In addition to reprising her Empire character in a guest-starring appearance, Smith had a big recurring part on Fox/20th TV’s Empire and directed two episodes of the network and studio’s Star.
The drama, which received a straight-to-series order for the 2021-22 season, is set 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. It was written by Gist and is based on Lawrence Otis Graham’s provocative, critically acclaimed book Our Kind of People: Inside America’s Black Upper Class. Angela Vaughn, a strong-willed single mother, sets out to restore her family’s reputation and make a difference with her revolutionary haircare product that celebrates black women’s innate, natural beauty in Our Kind of People. But she soon uncovers a horrific secret about her mother’s background that will turn her world on its head and forever disturb this neighborhood.
“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.”
Smith has starred in films such as Empire, Power, and Why Did I Get Married? and For Better or Worse, as well as Starz’s P-Valley, ABC’s Big Sky, Fox’s Star, and 9-1-1, and the CW’s Black Lightning, has directed. Smith will next direct the pilot and several episodes of the new Starz series Black Mafia Family, on which he also serves as an executive producer.
Smith has worked with actors and artists such as Mary J. Blige on 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 as an acting coach through her TSAW Actor’s Workshop. Marsh Entertainment, Verve, and Fox Rothschild attorney Darrell Miller represent Smith.
Tasha Smith is a multifaceted actress and director whose work, whether in front of or behind the camera, brings style and intensity to the projects she works on. Tasha embodies and brings to life her characters, from “Carol” on Fox’s smash drama Empire to “Brenda” in Netflix’s Running Out Of Time to her critically lauded depiction of the drug-addicted “Ronnie Boyce” in HBO’s Emmy Award-winning mini-series The Corner. Why Did I Get Married? : Tasha’s famous depiction of “Angela” Why Did I Get Married, Too? and its sequel Why Did I Get Married, Too? Other feature credits include Lionsgate’s Addicted and Daddy’s Little Girls (both starring Idris Elba), Sony’s Jumping The Broom, and Universal’s romantic comedy Couples Retreat.
Tasha has recently directed episodes of Fox’s 9-1-1, The CW’s Black Lightning, Amazon’s Untitled Tracy Oliver project, Fox’s Star, Starz’s P-Valley, BET’s Tales, and TV1’s When Love Kills, which was nominated for an NAACP Award.
In both her professional and personal lives, Tasha Smith’s infectious optimism and excitement draw attention. She gives back to the community by giving motivational speeches and coaching aspiring actors through the Tasha Smith Actors Workshop (TSAW).