Three months ago, we found out that Nicki Minaj is going to be involved in an ABC Family television show — a semi-autobiographical comedy that she’ll be producing and starring in. And our thoughts looked something like this:
“This is one of the more unique adventures I’ve ever embarked on,” Nicki said in a statement. “I couldn’t be more proud and excited to team up with an amazing group of people to give the world something really special.”
The project, entitled Nicki, has been in the works for almost a year, and Nicki launched a search for the perfect little lady to play the younger version of herself, hashtagging the search with #YoungNicki. Gah, the suspense! But today, Nicki made the big reveal via Instagram, hashtagging with the young actress’s name: Ariana Neal.
Ariana, who has previously appeared in Get Hard and Fruitville Station, will be playing young Nicki before her rapid rise to fame.
Alongside Ariana will be Selita Ebanks, who will play Grace, Nicki’s mother; McCarrie McCausland, who will play Jaylen, Nicki’s older brother; and Wesley Jonathan, who will play Vincent, Nicki and Jaylen’s father. Whoopi Goldberg will also be making an appearance, guest starring as Nicki’s neighbor, Miss Martha.
“I literally cried watching [Ariana’s] taped audition,” Nicki wrote in a second Instagram post celebrating Ariana’s casting. “I demanded to meet her! Sat in a room with her teaching her how to rap by doing a beat on the table & forcing her to stay on beat. . . Then pulled out all the attitude she had in her lil body. . . Welcome to the family lil lady bug!”
The comedy, while not a perfect autobiography, is inspired by Nicki’s journey. Nicki will touch on the star’s childhood in Queens, New York — including her family’s immigration from Trinidad when she was a child — to her immense fame today. It’s set to start filming in Queens in the winter.
And we. Cannot. WAIT.
(Images via Giphy.)