Season two of Run the World promises to give fans more fashion, fun and, of course, lots of drama.
After two years, the sophomore season of the STARZ series returns to follow the 30-something trio of Renee (Bresha Webb), Whitney (Amber Stevens West), and Sondi (Corbin Reid) — Andrea Bordeaux, who played Ella, departed the series in February 2022, after its debut season — as they navigate the trials and tribulations of being successful career women in pursuit of world domination while juggling their romantic relationships and their connections to one another.
As the three strive for personal growth and self-discovery, balancing career, love, and the ups and downs of life in Harlem, New York, they rely on their sisterhood to propel them onward and upward in a world in which they were never meant to do so.
The show’s logline promises, “At its core, it’s an unapologetically female show about enviable friendship and not only surviving – but thriving together.”
And according to the cast, viewers will get all that and more when they tune into the show. ET’s Rachel Smith visited the set ahead of the series premiere on May 26, during which Webb, West and Reid teased all the exciting things fans can expect in the second season.
“We’re doing big things, big style in Harlem, honey! We are taking things by the reins, we’re being selfish and not apologizing for it and, might I add, we look fabulous doing it as well,” Webb proclaims.
West adds that the cast’s real-life friendship enhances their fictional bond, pointing out how close they’ve gotten while working on the show. “We just have so much fun together. We’re friends in real life — like both of them just got married [and] I was at both of their weddings,” she says, adding that the cast regularly plays board games on set together.
That bond is made more apparent during the chaotic events of season 2. “[The season] was just explosive,” Reid shares. “Like, season 1, you see us starting to deal with our problems. With season 2, it all just sort of explodes and then you have to see us work through it together and lean on our lovely friendship as this enviable friend group. So it’s really fabulous.”
The new season picks up directly where the previous installment left off: Whitney is facing the consequences of confessing to her fiancé (and now ex), Ola (Tosin Morohunfola), that she cheated on him; Renee finds herself struggling to find her way after quitting her job at Eclipse to strike out on her own in the marketing world and dealing with her separation from her husband, Jason (Jay Walker); and Sondi finds her domestic setup with beau Matthew (Stephen Bishop) in flux as Naomi (Tika Sumpter), his ex-wife and mother of his daughter Amari (Ellie Reine), returns home from active duty with the Navy.
“It just made me so much more excited to get back to work and see what the rest of the writers were going to write up,” Webb says of the new season. “[Renee] leaves her husband, she quits her job [and now] she’s in the dating scene. We don’t know where Renee is gonna go [in] the second season, but it’s worth [exploring] and I wanted to do it.”
“Yeah, Sondi is really kind of moving in a radical new direction,” Reid adds. “Her relationship is in a fully different place from season 1… Her career [also] moves in an entirely new direction. She finds her voice being amplified and she falls in love with it and you see her really lean into that.”
“I think it’s exciting for you to imagine where it can go, because I can see her heading in so many different directions,” Reid notes. “I can see her getting her Angela Rye on or, I don’t know, we’ll have to wait and see where she goes.”
As for West’s Whitney, things are fairly tumultuous for her after she upends her life by confessing her one-night stand to her fiancé. “We left with a huge cliffhanger for Whitney [and] what I love about the show is that it’s so grounded in reality. And we’re not just jumping back into Whitney getting married to Ola because there needs to be some resolving of what went on between them,” she tells ET.
West adds, “I love that it’s a show about women in our 30s who, on paper, have checked every box — they have completed college, they’re successful in their careers, they have been in wonderful relationships [with] good men — like these are all the things that people think… they [can] coast through the rest of their life. But with Whitney and these women, you see that they get to these moments where they’re still falling and they’re still having to figure out what they want out of life and then go after it. And so Whitney is very much in a place of needing to look inward and figure out why she sabotaged the relationship that she wanted for so long and learn more about herself and what she’s looking for for the rest of her life.”
Season 2 also tackles the absence of the original fourth member of the friend group, Ella. Without giving too much away, Webb shares that Ella’s presence is still “present” in the second installment.
“Her light and her essence of who she is as a character [is still present],” she says. “It’s so much more relatable because friends come and go, you know, and people get married, they get jobs, but you still have that love for them. And so that’s what her presence is this season. She even saves the day in one of the episodes. We honor her in that space, so [it’s] relatable.”
Reid says that the show ensures the fictional friends stay in touch with their fourth member, noting that “technology is magical” when it comes to keeping in touch with loved ones.
With the show’s vibrant stories, iconic setting and drool-worthy fashion — thanks to costume consultant Patricia Fields and costume designer Tracy L. Cox — it’s no surprise that Run the World is often mentioned in the same breath as Sex and the City.
Agreeing that fashion is a huge part of their characters, West shares that the actors often collaborate with Cox when it comes to their on-screen looks.
“We put on things that make us feel a certain way because we want to present a certain way and so the clothes in our show are a huge part of our characters,” West says. “Tracy is so good at his job and he just shows things to me. We collaborate on where we think the character is, but I wasn’t like, ‘Go find this dress.’ He shows up and has something in mind and almost always I just do whatever he says.”
Sharing that she grew up watching Sex and the City, Webb shares that working with Fields was a dream come true as someone who was inspired by the outfits shown on the former HBO series. “But, you know, there’s also shows like Living Single and Girlfriends that paved the way for us to be who we are,” she adds, referencing executive producer Yvette Lee Bowser’s iconic Queen Latifah-led series.
“I think our show is a modern-day take of what it is to be, not only a Black woman, but to be a woman living in New York City, living in Harlem, which is very underplayed in television,” Reid says. “We’re showing the glamorous, beautiful culture that is in Harlem and showing three ambitious, intelligent women who are living their best lives in Harlem. It shows a dream come true.”
Reid shares that they had “pinch-me moments” with fans who show them the impact of the show on their viewers. “It’s also beautiful because we’re living in luxury as three Black girls in New York City. You don’t get to see that often on TV anymore. We’re giving authentic representation, which has meant a lot to a lot of people and it’s really nice to hear.”
“It’s not just a fantasy on television, this is real. There are real women, go to Harlem [and] you’ll see them,” West adds as Webb notes, “We are doing what is already being done. We’re celebrating Black women. We have to celebrate our melanin.”
“We wanna be inspirational,” Webb adds of the show’s fashion and stories. “It’s aspirational. We want you to see it and go get it.”
Run The World season 2 will premiere new episodes Fridays on STARZ.