Tyler Perry Studios has taken on a new story plot that centers around life inside a Black cult in his latest series, Tyler Perry’s Ruthless. The drama-thriller series is a spin-off from the BET original series The Oval and grapples with the Rakudushis and their jarring practices displayed on their compound.
The series stars actress Melissa L. Williams (who plays Ruth Truesdale) who kidnaps her daughter Callie to join the sex-crazed members of the Rakudushis cult and their leader known as “The Highest” played by Matt Cedeño.
The second part of the first season of Ruthless, titled Ruthless Tranche 2 premieres on BET+ on Thursday (Nov. 26) where fans of the show will be met with familiar castmates, Yvonne Senat Jones who plays Tally and Lenny Thomas who stars as Dikhan. This time around, there are some new faces added to the mix including up and coming actress Michelle Natalie Nuñez who plays Zane.
As the newest and youngest member that has entered into the confines of Rakudushis territory, Nuñez says the intensity around playing Zane has pushed her into a special place as an actress. “It was a matter of tapping into darkness myself and as an actor, we have these places that we can go,” she told BET.com.
“Zane goes through a lot of brutal moments; two specific ones. After certain scenes, I was sobbing and crying,” she added explaining that shooting the series came with overwhelmingly intense scenes.
“We had different people on set who were meant to support us in those moments because it was very high intensity, feelings and emotions. And I knew that I needed to capture this to give Zane any justice for what she’s going through as this character and to bring her to life.
The mystique and unknowingness of the show is what Nuñez believes keeps viewers looking forward to each episode. The creativity and inventiveness of writer, director, producer, Tyler Perry is on full display as he has cultivated a storyline inspired by the Jim Jones like era of cult leaders. According to Nuñez, “Mr. P,” as she affectionately calls him, was very present while shooting Ruthless and even helped her and the other castmates through some of the more intense scenes.
“He sat with us and he talked to us and we opened up to him. I shared with him how I was feeling and he received it,” she recalled. “He praised my talent and for me being here. It was just a very loving, tender connection that he had. A very fatherly connection that I really appreciated.”
Check out the premiere of Tyler Perry’s Ruthless Tranche 2 on BET + on Thursday, November 26, (rated TV-MA).