The Lifetime biopic Salt-N-Pepa tells the story of female rap pioneers, Cheryl “Salt” James and Sandra “Pepa” Denton, who forever changed the male-dominated hip-hop industry. Though the women garnered great success throughout their career, the film will also detail their struggles and behind the scenes moments that even die-hard Salt-N-Pepa fans are not aware of.
Distractify spoke exclusively with actress GG Townson about stepping into the shoes of iconic rapper Salt.
"It’s different telling a story no one has ever heard of before ... We go into a lot of personal things that no one has no idea about. That’s the easy part. The hard part is living up to the memory of what you can easily Google," GG told Distractify.
Keep reading to find out what she had to say about preparing for the role and the "authenticity" of this film.
GG Townson prepared for her role by recording her conversations with Salt.
After booking the gig, GG confirmed that she did a bunch of research through watching old interviews and videos. Additionally, the real-life Salt-N-Pepa are attached to the Lifetime project and were able to assist their on-screen counterparts.
"I recorded our conversation," GG revealed, explaining that she had Salt sit down for over two hours. "I recorded and played that back to get her flow and her delivery down." Adding, "When she got on set and being able to feel her presence [that] helped with being able to tap into her essence."
Aside from mastering choreography, GG explained that Salt's "stillness" is something she wanted to master, telling us, "Cheryl speaks really slow and every word she uses is filled with purpose because she’s not a fast talker. … You’re gonna hear everything she has to say without her having to repeat herself."
Lifetime's 'Salt-N-Pepa' is not an exaggeration of events — and fans will hear new stories.
It's not uncommon for biopics to be slightly exaggerated or storylines altered for the purpose of the film. Luckily, the real-life rap stars were on-set and attached to the project to make sure it remained authentic.
According to GG, the scenes "weren't exaggerated," but they had to be cut down.
"We weren’t able to go into the lengthy day of the breakup scene; we had to keep the story moving. So, we had to cut it short. The way that that scene happened is the way that the scene happened in real-life," GG said. "They approached it with honesty and authenticity and even if something felt too soft they were like, ‘Nah, it was harder than this. It was more intense.’ They were there to make sure things weren’t watered down."
The film also teased to die-hard fans that untold events will finally be told. GG teased that the dynamics between "Cheryl and Hurby and Pep and Hurby" are things that have not been talked about extensively. Adding, "Those moments specifically will be shocking for fans to see."
Salt-N-Pepa will premiere on Jan. 23 at 8 p.m. ET on Lifetime.