Christina Milian takes over late Naya Rivera’s role on ‘Step Up’ TV series

"I hope to honour Naya, her family, friends and fans with a great performance"

Christina Milian has been cast in the Step Up TV series at Starz, replacing Naya Rivera.

The actress will be taking over the role originally played by the late Glee actress, who died last July.

“I am so excited to join the Step Up family,” Milian said in a statement obtained by Variety. “I know I have massive shoes to fill. Naya was incredible. I hope to honour Naya, her family, friends and fans with a great performance.”

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Naya Rivera, who was best known for her role as Santana Lopez on the hit TV show Glee, died at the age of 33 after drowning in Lake Piru while out boating with her four-year-old son.

“Naya’s death was a terrible loss to our world that we will, frankly, never stop mourning,” said Step Up series creator and executive producer Holly Sorensen.

Naya Rivera
Naya Rivera. CREDIT: Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

“It was almost impossible to consider there could be someone so graceful and loving who could both help us honor our loss, while also bringing a deep reservoir of talent to our show, in so many areas.

“Christina is an exceptional human and a dazzling performer and we are so happy she has joined our family.”

The first two seasons of the series will be available to watch on Starz from March 5, and filming on season 3 began in Atlanta this month.

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Writing about Rivera in an obituary, NME said: “It’s no exaggeration to state that, for a lot of young LGBTQ+ people growing up, Naya Rivera, was far more than another actor playing a cheerleader on a TV show.

“She was a true and powerful reflection for queer people – what an enormous and powerful legacy to leave behind.”

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