When Queen Sugar star Ethan Hutchison learned he was auditioning for one of his favorite series, Disney’s Channel’s Secrets of Sulphur Springs, he couldn’t stop smiling.
“When I tell you I loved the show before I even got the audition, I mean that,” an excited Hutchinson tells TVLine. “The show is so well done, I was just happy waiting on more episodes. I love the genre and the time travel. Fun fact: I was actually filming Queen Sugar when I got the audition.”
Hutchison obviously made an impression because he’ll be playing Harper’s great grand-uncle Sam when Season 2 of the beloved sci-fi series premieres this Friday at 8/7c. Harper, who is played by Kyliegh Curran, won’t get to officially meet Sam Tremont in the season opener, but she does run into him and learn more about her overalls-wearing ancestor when she, Griffin (Preston Oliver) and Savannah (Stranger Things‘ Elle Graham) travel back to 1930.
Says Curran, “I had heard of Queen Sugar and knowing Ethan was on it, I said, ‘This kid is going to be incredible. And when his dad told me he was a big fan, I was like, ‘Oh my God! Yes!’ I was so proud. Ethan is an absolutely talented actor and I’m excited for the audience to see the Tremonts, because we are fire.
“Mr. Robert Manning Jr. plays Daisy’s Pa and Harper’s great grandfather Elijah, and we all had a lot of fun working together,” the teen actress adds. “Getting to know Harper’s family is a really big deal because we don’t know a lot about them, because of what happened to her father. By the end of the season, fans are going to be like, ‘That was awesome!’”
As an added bonus, Curran in Season 2 will play both Sam’s descendant and his sister Daisy, who is Harper’s grandmother. The show will also delve into the racism Black people in America experienced, particularly in Louisiana where the young adult drama is shot and takes place. Curran and Hutchison say that exploring this heartbreaking chapter in the nation’s history both inspired and saddened them.
“I definitely learned about the negative and positive things that happened during that time,” Hutchison divulges. “It was an interesting experience going back to how a person my age who looks the way I do had to survive and live in those days, especially during the Great Depression. There were a truckload of things that happened — good and bad.”
Curran says that while she knew about the discrimination Black people endured in the 1930s, re-enacting it further opened her eyes.
“We all know the basics, but we explore how Black people were segregated, not valued, and not treated like people,” Curran previews. “It’s disgusting to see and learn about, but it’s important to learn about this and not sugarcoat it. We showed the 1960s last season, but in this season of Secrets of Sulphur Springs, we do an even better job of showing prejudice. There is a little bit of censorship, because it is for kids. But we do learn how this Black family, the Tremonts, were treated.”
Are you excited about Season 2 of Secrets of Sulphur Springs and getting to know the Tremonts? Drop your thoughts in the comments.