Showtime calls The Chi “a timely coming-of-age story centering on a group of residents on the South Side of Chicago who become linked by coincidence but bonded by the need for connection and redemption.”
And Season 5 “delves deeply into the many joys and complications of Black love: relationships, children, career, community, and self.”
Alongside returning cast members Jacob Latimore, Alex Hibbert, Yolonda Ross, Shamon Brown Jr., Michael V. Epps, Birgundi Baker, Luke James, and Curtiss Cook, Season 5 will see Kandi Burruss, La La Anthony, Jason Weaver, and Iman Shumpert return as guest stars.
But Showtime has also revealed some of the new characters fans will see in the fifth season. Read on, if you don’t mind a few minor The Chi spoilers.
Nia Jervier plays Tierra, Douda’s god-niece.
According to Showtime, Nia Jervier is playing Tierra, “the poised, polished and driven god-niece of Douda (Curtiss Cook), whom he recruits for a rebranding effort.”
You may recognize Nia from the 2014 film Dear White People or its 2017 TV spinoff of the same name. In the latter project, which streamed four seasons on Netflix, Nia played Kelsey, a “gold star” lesbian college student.
Later, Nia appeared in the BET series Twenties, another TV show created by The Chi mastermind Lena Waithe. This February, when her casting on The Chi made headlines, Nia thanked Lena, her “fairy god-sister,” on Instagram for “seeing and celebrating this eccentric unicorn.”
Carolyn Michelle Smith plays Deja, Shaad’s new love interest.
Carolyn Michelle Smith plays Deja, described as “a new love interest for Shaad (Jason Weaver) who helps him level up in more ways than one.”
After taking guest-starring roles in How to Get Away With Murder, Luke Cage, and Code Black, Carolyn recurred in the Netflix shows House of Cards and Russian Doll, appearing in three episodes apiece. In the former, she played Willa, chief of staff for Claire Underwood (Robin Wright). And in the latter, she plays Agnes, grandmother of Alan (Charlie Barnett).
L’lerrét Jazelle plays hard-hitting journalist Fatima.
An actor on the rise, L’lerrét Jazelle portrays Fatima in The Chi’s fifth season. Showtime explains that the character is “a local journalist who wants the best for her neighborhood and isn't afraid to hold politicians' feet to the fire to get the truth.”
L’lerrét has a few TV credits to her name: She guest-starred on the shows 4400, 9-1-1, and NCIS: Los Angeles, and she took a role in the Showtime pilot Coercion.
Antonyah Allen plays Simone, a new classmate of Kevin
And Showtime says that Antonyah Allen will appear in Season 5 as Simone, “Kevin’s (Alex Hibbert) new classmate, a creative introvert who constantly challenges him and opens his mind to new experiences.” Antonyah seems to be a Hollywood newcomer, not even having an IMDb profile yet!
The Chi Season 5 premieres tonight, Sunday, June 26, at 9 p.m. ET on Showtime.