Ever since childhood, Ryan Destiny has found herself passionate about the entertainment industry. From America’s Got Talent and the girl group Love Dollhouse, to starring as the lead actress in independent film A Girl Like Grace, Ryan always had eyes bright enough to match the spotlight.
Now at 23 years old, she’s combining all three of her entertainment gifts in the lead role of Alex on Lee Daniels’ Fox Television show, Star. TXTURE sat down with Ryan to talk about her experience on the second season of Star, premiering tonight, March, 28, at 9:00 ET/PT. We also got the facts and examples about her style inspiration and the way she connected with her bae, Keith Powers. Read on for the full conversation.
Ashley Osborne: For those who don't know about your character on Star can you tell us about who Alexandra is and the role that she plays on the show?
Ryan Destiny: Yeah, Alex is 19 years old she's from the Upper East Side in New York. Her father is a Rockstar so she's kind of following in his footsteps, but her parents have never really been supportive of her so She doesn't believe in herself as much as she should because of her past with them. She kind of lives a lonely life I guess like, “the life of a celebrity's daughter,” And these girls are pretty much her new family, like her only family really. Her mom is trying to show more support now which is like great, with all that happening in her life and like the abortion and just everything like that. And she plays the songwriter and producer of the group and she just kind of creates the whole thing; the whole shebang that they've had going on this whole time all the way up until season 2. Them having a record deal has definitely pushed her even more and made her want to go even harder with the two other girls too. She's a very determined character and she definitely won't stop until she gets to this independence that she thrives for and the fulfillment of proving people wrong who didn't believe in her, whether it be her parents or anyone she's come across so far.
AO: Nice. That's a very lovely description, of course, because you are her. Haha.
RD: Thank you. Hahaha, yes, trying to show her in a good light, ya know?
AO: Right, right, right! So, what has been the most exciting part about filming season 2 of Star?
RD: Umm… Hmm.. That's kind of hard. I just think the performances are always my favorite. The second part of last season we had like fewer performances, or just like fewer performances with full out choreography, So I cherish them even more when we did have them this time. I think that's my favorite part of it; seeing the songs come together with the scene, and seeing how they come together to make the whole performance. So, that's always fun; to actually perform the song.
AO: Yes! Okay, so what are some of the challenges that you’ve faced this season so far?
RD: I feel like things have become much more of a routine so it's not as difficult, but In a way I feel like the most difficult part about it is snapping out of that routine. I have to remember what this is, and remember to live in the present moment and not become this robot. I think that was kind of challenging for all of us, to just remember to treat each day like it's this new project almost. Ya know? It helps keep not only you, but also everyone else around you in that. It definitely shows in the work when you're kind of like, “Okay, this is day 97 and here we are again waking up super early and we're tired, but we're just going to push through it". And it definitely can get to that point when we're just like, “We're tired,” but we have to constantly remind ourselves of what this is and how great it is for us.
AO: Yeah it definitely sounds like you're saying pretty much saying, “Staying present in the moment".
RD: Yeah, definitely. It's important.
AO: For sure. So how would you describe your growth as an entertainer because, you know you're not just an actress; you also sing, you dance, the whole everything. You’re a triple threat. How would you describe your growth from season 1 to season 2?
Image by: Tanya Wise/FOX
RD: Haha, thank you. From season 1 to season 2 I would definitely say, mentally I'm in a better place just with what I feel that I have control over. I only have control over myself, and I had to be reminded of that. I had to remember that throughout the whole process. I think the first season, you get swept away and you feel like you have less power than you actually do. Especially coming in new; you don't want to step on toes and certain things like that. But, you just have to remember that you're still you and you're still your own person. You have to know that this is your career and you have to take charge of it sometimes. It's your life and people have to remember that. And because they're not in this certain position, I think a lot of people forget that, including yourself. So, I think it's just a constant battle. I definitely think it's something that I'm learning more as I also learn myself more; my power and my strength that I have this go-round.
AO. Yes, girl! That sounds like amazing growth to me. Speaking of power and strength, the season 2 premiere features some pretty powerful and strong and amazing guest stars! Yes: Patti LaBelle, Brandy Norwood, and Keke Palmer! So, how was it working with the three of them? Tell us a little bit about that experience…
RD: I mean Brandy is somebody that I've literally looked up to since I was a little girl. Watching her on her show or in her movies, I just looked up to her without really
even realizing it as a child. I knew every song. It was just always the feel. So, the fact that now she's coming up to me like excited to work with me and she's a fan, it's surreal, and it's wild, and it still hasn't sunk in.
AO: It’s beautiful how life works!
RD: Yeah, it’s crazy! The same with Patti LaBelle. She told me that I have a beautiful voice and it's just crazy to hear that from somebody like her.
AO: Aww, wow!
RD: Yeah, so it's just really cool to work with these people that I never, never thought I would work with.
AO: Yeah, that's really amazing! So, without giving away too many details, what are some other things that viewers can look forward to on this season of “Star?”
RD: They can look forward to how the love triangle figures itself out, I hope. So they'll definitely see that happen. Then, they'll see how the tour has people shook in a lot of ways and the dynamic of that. They’ll see what the whole label is trying to do with that and what sides they're choosing. Also, how they're trying to split people up in different ways - which sucks, but it happens forreal.
AO: Right, that's real. Well, that sounds like a good amount of drama, haha!
RD: Haha, right it does and we have Quavo on the show and LaLa.
AO: Woo! Come on! That’s exciting!
AO: Well that's pretty dope! Everybody will get pretty excited for that!
Ryan: Yeah, for sure!
AO: Alright so let's get to know you, Ryan, a little better. I will say one thing that stands out about you is yourself expression and your sense of style. I think you're very poppin’ on “The Gram” and you really demonstrate this beautiful balance of feminine and sporty, edgy. And I would love to know, where does your style inspiration come from and how has it changed over the years?
RD: A lot of my style inspiration comes from my parents. My parents were that like classic 90s couple type of thing you know. I get mad at a lot of the pictures that I see there will be pieces and I'll be like, “Why didn't you keep that because now I could have worn it?” Haha! I steal my dad's clothes from him still to this day and I'm a person that loves oversized clothing so it works perfect. A lot of different underground type of people have influenced me, too. Vashie is somebody that I looked up to when I was like super young and didn't really know what fashion style was at a certain point. And she always had a tomboy vibe to her and I loved her. and now we're cool. So that's crazy too; just thinking about how I was a fan of her, and now we're cool. And yeah, I've just always loved that type of vibe. It's effortless. I'm a very laid-back person and it really says that. I think my style reflects who I am a lot of the time and it's just fun. So, doing that is something I love.
AO: Yes! So, speaking of Instagram We have to talk about you and your bae, Keith Powers, and how adorable you are.
RD: Haha, thank you!
AO: Of course! So, how did you guys meet?
RD: We actually met at a Teen Vogue party like 3 years ago.
AO: Oh, wow!
RD: Yeah, we literally just met each other there. We never really spoke to each other for a minute after that actually. But yeah, it was at an industry party.
AO: So, let's talk about how your first date went, cause I'm really curious about that. Obviously it went well, I'm assuming?!
RD: You know what, what's funny is I don't remember. We're not very like, how do you say it, typical? I don't know. I'm not into a lot of mushy stuff, which is like: yeah, you're not into mushy stuff, but you have pictures of your boyfriend online? It's fine. But, what I'm saying is I don't have an actual memory of what our first date was because things happened really naturally. We literally would just run into each other and we would just hang out from there. It happened super super naturally which is something that I love.
AO: That's actually really dope - it shows that you guys had a natural friendship or a natural bond first before anything else.
RD: Yeah I'm really happy with that.
AO: We all noticed that you both carry the very 90s style and aesthetic. Is that something that also attracted you to each other - started making y’all look at each other in a different way? Hahaha.
RD: I definitely think it attracted him, um, hahaha! So funny, I crack myself up! Hahaha I’m sorry yeah, no, it's true though. But yeah I know that's very natural to. I think he yeah I don't know it was a very natural attraction but I think that's one of the things that he loves about me, and I love it too, about me. But yeah, I know it's his vibe too, and it's my vibe, so it's kind of perfect in that way.
AO: Right - it meshes well together, for sure.
RD: Thank you!
AO: Yes, on some, “Match my fly!” And do you see the two of you ever doing some type of creative project together in the future?
RD: We don't, we haven't really planned on it at all. We don't really talk about that as much. I mean, I don't know! Who knows? Who knows what could happen in the future...
You never know what the future holds. How many of you would be interested in a collaboration between Ryan and Keith?
For now, we can watch Ryan be a force within her role as Alex, both a superstar and an outspoken Black woman on Star, premiering tonight at 9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT on Fox.