Ariana DeBose plays Emma Tate in the hit Apple TV+ series Schmigadoon!, and her character is a no-nonsense schoolmarm who becomes a love interest for Josh Skinner, who is played by Keegan-Michael Key. DeBose and Key have a lot of chemistry on-screen, which is not a big surprise considering this is not the first time they worked together. PopCulture.com recently caught up with DeBose, who talked about reuniting with Key after working on a hit Netflix movie.
"We had such a good time on The Prom," DeBose told PopCulture. "I don't know how that movie got made because we were too busy laughing all the time. But this was really, really wonderful, because I got to work with him in a deeper capacity. We actually had scenes together this time and he's such a giving scene partner. And honestly, I feel like he made me better. I watched him continue to try new things and discover and it empowered me to do the same.
"He doesn't do anything the same way twice, which is really fun. We would chat and I was like, 'Your last dance partner was Meryl Streep. It's a really full dance card, my man, like how am I going to live up?' But we had a good time and I think I did okay as a follow-up." As DeBose mentioned, she didn't have too many scenes with Key due to the storylines. That is not the case in Schmigadoon! as Emma becomes more interested in Josh who called things off with Melissa (Cecily Strong).
"Emma Tate has sort of one foot in Schmigadoon and one foot out of Schmigadoon, which is what gives her kind of this grounding energy," DeBose said when talking about her character. "I think that's what makes people gravitate to her or away from her within the world of Schmigadoon.
"But she is warmth; she is light; she is love and possibility. She's an educator, right? I think she's the person who quietly inspires people without them realizing she's doing it. She's a feminist, but she does not sacrifice any of her feminist beliefs for her feminism, if that makes sense. She simply is. And it's a beautiful thing to behold." New episodes on Schmigadoon! can be seen on Apple TV+ on Fridays.