Louder and Prouder Season 2

Feb 20, 2023

Reviving a beloved show is always a difficult task, given that there’s already a standard that a reboot is expected to match. In the case of the first season of The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder, both critics and longtime fans agreed the series knocked it out of the park. Despite it being almost two decades since The Proud Family ended in 2005, once Louder and Prouder premiered last year, it felt like the Proud Family never left. Penny (Kyla Pratt), Trudy (Paula Jai Parker), Oscar (Tommy Davidson), and the rest of the friends and family of Prouds return in a series that’s just as heartfelt, funny, and memorable as the original series.

One character who has always stood out as a fan favorite is Grandma Proud herself, Suga Mama, played once again by JoMarie Payton. Payton requires no introduction to sitcom fans, as she’s a legend in the genre having played Harriette Winslow in another beloved family sitcom, Family Matters. Payton’s performance of the beloved Suga Mama character has become a highly relatable figure for audiences everywhere, with the grandmother serving as a loving role model for her granddaughter Penny and a frequent critic of her goofy son Oscar.

Suga Mama and the rest of the Proud Family are set to return to Disney+ this February for The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder Season 2, and Collider had the chance to talk with Payton ahead of the anticipated season’s premiere. The voice of Suga Mama shared her perspective on making the show now as opposed to 2001, reuniting with the original cast, exploring Suga Mama’s past, the importance of bringing relevant cultural themes to the show, and who she would want a guest star for Louder and Prouder.

RELATED: ‘The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder’ Season 2: Release Date, Trailer, Cast, and Everything We Know So Far

COLLIDER: Having just rewatched Season 1 and the first few episodes of Season 2 of Louder and Prouder, I absolutely believe the show is a masterclass in reviving an established and beloved series like The Proud Family, and a big reason for that is how Louder and Prouder stays true to its roots and what made the original show work so well while also updating for newer audiences. Do you recall any challenges in making the show now as to back in the early 2000s?

JOMARIE PAYTON: No, not really, and let me just say that Aidan, you touched my heart right there, by saying that, because that’s what we initially started out to do to make it as real and as genuine as we could, and unapologetically good. The people that enjoy it laugh a little bit, cry a little bit, and question some of the things we did too but also not be in denial about them. What I like about us being louder and prouder is that we don’t have certain limitations that we may have had 20 years ago about expressing what it is we need to express. Things that people really need to talk about, and need to deal with and not push under the rug. I like that we have the ability with this tremendous cast that we have and these incredible writers to touch on certain subjects that really need to be dealt with and deal with them in a way where the levels on them are so nice and they’re not so long that they’re preachy, and they’re not so short that you don’t catch it, because we say what we mean, we mean what we said, and it’s something that people need to pay attention to. So I’m glad that you do. Subjects that would’ve been taboo years ago, we touch on it ’cause it’s important and it needs to be dealt with. See what I’m saying?


PAYTON: So I’m loving that I’m with a group of people that, really we have learned by being with each other and also like I said giving credit to our writers and our producers and people that understand that we have something that we need to say that needs to be seen and we gonna shout it louder and prouder.

Image via Disney+

You mentioned the cast, and the cast is also a huge component. An incredible cast filled with new faces like Keke Palmer and also returning favorites like almost the entire original cast. What was it like reuniting with all those other voices after so many years, since 2005?

PAYTON: You know what, Aidan? When magic is magic it’s like a good song. If a song is good it doesn’t matter if they did it 50 years ago or you hear it on a special occasion. It’s a good song. We had a good formula years ago, and we’re not really a reboot we’re a revival. You know we came back is what we did, and I think that all the good spirits out there who brought us all back and had everybody still able to do it and still sounding the same because we weren’t finished with what we needed to say. So it’s been tremendous to just be back with the same group of people, and it really didn’t feel like we were away that long because the connection was always there. When you put it into the air it’s always there. Sometimes it circles around a few times before it comes back home, but it’s always there. So for me, it was easy to jump back in.

Of course, and you know with a character like Suga Mama, it’s easy to relate with her and so easy to remember her because so many people have a grandmotherly figure like her in their lives. At both the end of the first season and at the beginning of this season, we see a different side of Suga Mama that we haven’t really seen before. One where she’s reunited with her estranged family, and it’s a much more vulnerable version of her. This is a character that we usually see as like the strong figure that everyone kind of looks up to and kind of keeps the rest of the family in line, and it was interesting to see her out of her element a little bit by returning home. How did it feel to explore that?

PAYTON: I loved that about it, Aidan. As a matter of fact, when I saw the first episode, I shed a tear myself, and when I saw the second part of the episode I shed another tear, because it was so real. You could take experiences with you that you get as a child through decades. Suga Mama is an old lady. To be in a position in life where you feel like, as good as you are, you’re still not good enough or accepted, and to carry that for generations you know and the impact that it has on you and still try to maintain the way you are and be an asset to your family. I love that Disney decided to, and the writers decided to go back into her life before then to see how she was and the struggles she’s had and the fights she’s had. She’s still a fighter! To the end, she’s still a fighter and she always will be, but I like the fact that it softened her up a minute. Everybody knows she has a soft side to her under that rough exterior, [the] same way with me. I like that we did that ’cause I think it makes her seem more embraceable.

Image via Disney+

In that second half of the episode, without giving too much away for spoilers, it stays true to another thing that makes The Proud Family, like you mentioned earlier, that it touches on topics that typically don’t get talked about. Particularly in children’s, family, animated shows, and it’s something that The Proud Family has never been afraid to show like with last season with the introduction of a same-sex couple with Randall and Barry. We know that they’re returning for this upcoming season, but are there any other culturally relevant topics that we can expect to see this season?

PAYTON: There are. I love the fact that we have that element of surprise, but I’m gonna leave that element of surprise in the fact that we’re gonna show it to you, because The Proud Family shows you the world as it is. I like that. You’re seeing, with our show, with this animation, the world as it is. A mixture of everything there is. So I’m excited about that. You guys are gonna love these next shows that are coming up ’cause they’re mixed up so well. For you to be able to learn, to love, and to laugh.

That’s a fantastic way of putting it. Despite that, though, there seems to be a very vocal minority of people online, mainly adults, who feel like topics and real-world issues like you talked about that make the show so special and why this show is talking about these while other shows don’t, they shouldn’t be explored in children’s programming because it would be “political”. What would your response be to people who have that mindset?

PAYTON: I’m an old believer that the truth will set you free, and my mother used to say that you can say anything you want to to anybody you want. Your audience has to be right, your tone has to be right, your attitude has to be right, and your heart has to be right. You can say “SHUT UP” or you can say “aww shut up,” but they’re real things that need to be said, and like I said once you put a thought in the air it’s there and if it has to come out, and it sets you free, by gosh, it could set somebody else free too. Not everybody is going to be happy with the truth, but the truth will set you free, and the truth will always come out, and it’s important that it does ’cause I think that it brings us together. What some people initially think tears us apart doesn’t really tear us apart, it kind of breaks us up, so we can be like a puzzle and come back together. Those who feel that way, you know God bless ’em, and they have a right to their opinion, but I hope their heart will override their head.

Image via Disney+

A very clear theme in the show that’s throughout the entire series is family and love and togetherness, and you obviously have a huge amount of experience playing these strong, incredible, matriarchal family figures both in The Proud Family and Family Matters. You mentioned your mother earlier, so would you say that your own family has had an impact on the way you bring those characters to life?

PAYTON: Oh, absolutely. My mother taught us that family love was greater than anything else and my grandmother instilled it in us, and my mother used to say you always stand with each other no matter what. Even if one of you guys does wrong you still need to stand with each other, but you need to tell them why they did wrong. My mother used to say that “the worst feeling in the world is not knowing where your child is,” and she used to say, “All we can’t fix we’ll learn to live with, but come home.” That’s the same lesson I give my daughter cause no matter what you do, you need to feel like there is a safe place, and that safe place is with me, and that’s how I raise my daughter and my granddaughter. You come home and if we need to deal with it, we’ll deal with it ’cause nobody should ever feel alone or deserted. That’s one of the things I like about The Proud Family. When we address some of these subjects that other people don’t want to talk about, we lost a lot of beautiful people along the way because people didn’t understand or didn’t want to accept the way they are. We are who we are, we love who we love, we do what we do, but there’s a place for all of us because if there wasn’t we wouldn’t be here.

Wonderful. I feel like I should almost end it there, but I do have one more final question. We talked a little bit about the returning cast, but there’s also a slew of new guest stars joining this season. Leslie Odom Jr., Chance the Rapper, Jane Lynch, just to name a few. If there were to be a Louder and Prouder Season 3, if you could have any person guest star, who would you pick?

PAYTON: Obama. I would want Obama and I would like to have a relationship with him, and I know he has Michelle, but I would want him. I’d want the ex-president.

All episodes of The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder Season 2 will be available to stream exclusively on Disney+ on February 1.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by filmibee.
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