Determination. Pride. Joy. Passion.
All of these emotions register on the captivating faces of the seven stars behind Prime Video’s The Boys, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, the upcoming crime thriller Cross, and Tyler Perry’s newest drama, Divorce in the Black.
Jessie T. Usher, Susan Heyward, Cynthia Addai-Robinson, Sophia Nomvete, Aldis Hodge, Meagan Good, and Cory Hardrict all stopped by the Blue Room photo booth at the 2024 Essence Festival of Culture in New Orleans recently to showcase their respective projects and catch up with one another at an event that has celebrated Black culture, music, and art for 30 years.
Read on to snag some buzzy updates about the stars’ Prime Video projects—and check out these exclusive images from the photo booth.

The Boys

Photo of Susan Heyward, dressed in a pink dress, and against blue background
Susan Heyward was a fan of The Boys long before she joined the cast as Sister Sage in Season 4. And once she was given the chance to come aboard, the Orange Is the New Black alum embraced the challenge.
“I was hoping to see Black women represented in a new way on the show,” Heyward said. “I got the opportunity to step up and be it. The show is so great at gruesome and gregarious characters. The idea of having someone come in with the exact opposite energy, to be still and have that power of stillness, has been really, really fun to explore.”
Headshot of Jessie T. Usher, against vibrant blue backdrop
As for Jessie T. Usher’s character, A-Train, he said fans are loving the superhero’s redemptive arc. “It’s been a long time coming,” Usher revealed. “A-Train has been making bad decisions for a very long time. He’s been very selfish from the beginning. It’s nice to see him have a wake-up call and realize the position that he’s in.”
Both stars also touched on their characters’ shared past—and what this could mean for their future on The Boys.
“They have a history,” noted Usher about A-Train and Sister Sage’s time together as teenage superheroes in the group Teenage Kix, “and they knew each other before they were in these extremely powerful positions. I think they may have even had something. Who knows? But think of it like this: We all know who we are now. But there are very few people who knew who we were 15 or 20 years ago. And for the first time, we’re meeting someone in A-Train’s life who isn’t related to him, who knew him before he was in The Seven. Before he was corrupt. Before he ever killed anyone.”
Heyward agreed and explained that the nonverbal moments between A-Train and Sister Sage create even more layers of tension and potential. “I feel like the writers have set up something we can really dig into this season and the next,” she said.
The Boys Season 4 is now streaming, and the series has been renewed for Season 5.

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power

Portrait of Cynthia Addai-Robinson, against blue backdrop
Cynthia Addai-Robinson, who stars as Queen-regent Miriel on The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, said Season 1 was about setting the table and pulling in fans. “It provides a variety of characters and worlds depending on your taste,” she said. “Some people want a love story and some people want epic battle sequences. Others want a smile and a laugh.”
Addai-Robinson teased an even grander Season 2: “We’re going even bigger, even bolder, and more expansive,” Addai-Robinson shared. “It’s darker with a ray of hope.”
Portrait of Sophia Nomvete, against blue backdrop
Sophia Nomvete, who stars as Princess Disa, revealed a second season filled with varying perspectives. “Some characters can see the glimmer of hope and some of the characters can’t see it,” she said. “But this season is a timeless piece of fantasy. It’s just an outburst of creative energy.”
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Season 2 premieres August 29 on Prime Video.

Tyler Perry’s Divorce in the Black

Headshot of Cory Hardrict, against blue backdrop
Cory Hardrict always wanted to work with Tyler Perry, and starring in Divorce in the Black as Dallas, a troubled and menacing married man, allowed him to fulfill that dream. “Mr. Tyler Perry is still moving the culture,” Hardrict said. “Everyone remembers his films. They’re legendary and impactful. I felt like being a part of a Tyler Perry film, the script, and the collaboration with Amazon is something special.”
Photo of Meagan Good, against blue background
Meagan Good was drawn to Divorce in the Black because of Perry and the movie’s message that the dissolution of some marriages can lead to fresh starts. In the movie, she plays Ava, a young professional who carves out a better life when her abusive husband asks for a divorce.
“I wanted to empower people for what is the second act of their lives, in some cases,” Good shared. “I wanted women and men to see the journey is interesting and crazy. It goes up and down and there are unexpected twists, but you’re alive, and you get to experience life more abundantly, no matter what season you’re going through.”
Tyler Perry's Divorce in the Black premieres on Prime Video July 11.


Portrait of Aldis Hodge, against blue backdrop
Aldis Hodge can’t wait for viewers to watch Cross when it premieres on Prime Video in November. Based on James Patterson’s best-selling book series of the same name, the crime thriller follows the titular detective and forensic psychologist who adeptly catches killers by digging into their warped psyches. The series has already been renewed for a second season.
“I’m ready for the world to see it,” Hodge beamed. “This feels different from anything I’ve ever seen as an audience member and from anything I’ve ever shot. I know people are going to be excited because it’s a completely different approach. It was the right role at this point in my life to evolve and explore Black individuality, Black fatherhood, and Black mental health.”
Cross premieres November 14 on Prime Video.