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Meet The Actress Behind 'Rent: Live's Joanne

by Casey Suglia

When Rent: Live premieres on Sunday Jan. 27, on FOX, there are going to be a lot of familiar faces on screen. But there will also be a lot of people playing some familiar roles that aren't as recognizable. So, it's completely OK for people to wonder — who is Kiersey Clemons? Because she is bringing life to Joanne in Rent: Live.

Clemons is an actress, who was cast as Joanne — the uptight Ivy League educated lawyer who knows how to sing — in the newest live musical on FOX, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Although some people are wary of how the live production will live up to the iconic musical from the 1990's and the 2005 musical of the same name, it seems as if this production is in very good hands. This is thanks in part to the awesome cast of the show. Celebrities like Dancing With The Stars winner Jordan Fisher and High School Musical mainstay Vanessa Hudgens will all have leading roles in the production.

And although people may be unfamiliar with Clemons, they're about to become very familiar with her. But it's not like the 25-year-old actress is completely unknown. Clemons is best known for her role in the 2015 film, Dope, as the character Diggy — "a lesbian teen growing up in a rough Southern California neighborhood," according to InStyle. But there is more to Clemons than just this role.

Clemons is also a singer and natural born performer. She told InStyle in 2017 that she grew up singing with her family members. Clemons said, according to InStyle:

I grew up with a lot of karaoke and dancing and good movies. We all like to entertain and perform. Everyone's really funny. Everyone can carry a tune. My grandma was a ballerina.

So, people shouldn't have doubts about whether or not Clemons is capable of stepping in Maureen's shoes. In the 2018 film, Hearts Beat Loud, Clemons not only shows off her incredible acting skills, but she also sings, too, according to IndieWire. And if anyone wanted to see how talented she really is, this video of her singing in Hearts Beat Loud, proves that she is an incredibly dynamic performer.

Clemons is ready for people to hear her sing, far beyond a few indie films — and this broadcast of Rent: Live is the perfect place for her to do it, especially since she has wanted to be on TV when she was super young. Earlier this summer, she told the New York Post that she began taking singing lessons at the age of 12 where she was "learning songs in different languages" and desired to be on TV one day.

"Once I was old enough to realize that the people I thought were inside the TV were actual people, it was like, 'I want to do that.'," Clemons said.

Clemons is pretty pumped to be singing in an iconic musical like Rent. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times earlier this summer, Clemons said she loves musicals. So, her role as Joanne in Rent: Live is the perfect role for her. "I really enjoy music and singing, and I enjoy musicals," she said.

Needless to say, after Rent: Live people will be talking about Clemons. And it's a name that people will not want to forget.