The legacy of John Singleton reigned over the black carpet at the sixth and final season premiere of FX’s “Snowfall” on Wednesday night.
As the cast filed into the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures to view a screening of the first episode, Michael Hyatt (Cissy Saint) and Carter Hudson (Teddy McDonald) reflected on the legacy of Singleton, who co-created the series. Singleton died in April 2019 after suffering a stroke at the age of 51. The “Boyz n the Hood” writer-director made history as the first Black person to score an Oscar nomination for best director.
“John taught me to use my voice in ways that I had not given myself permission to use my voice in my career, in my life,” Hyatt tearfully shared with Variety. “Because of his presence in my life and the time that I had to spend with him, he empowered me to use that voice. And even though he’s dead, when I come to work, I make sure that what I’m saying represents him.”
Hyatt first joined the series in Season 1 as Cissy Saint, the mother of one of L.A.’s soon-to-be notorious drug dealers Franklin Saint (Damson Idris). As a nurturing maternal figure, one of her main goals is to save the people in her neighborhood from the havoc of rampant drugs and gang violence in the 1980s, all while still protecting her son from the government using him to fuel the war on drugs.
Series co-creator Dave Andron and executive producer Walter Mosley crafted three more seasons following Singleton’s death, but the director’s presence never left them as they forged ahead. Through several “acts of conjuring,” Hudson says — like leaving his director’s chair in the room and continuing the series with his vision also in mind — the cast was able to “keep him alive” within their hearts. The actor also revealed Singleton’s memory was honored with its series finale, which is dedicated to the co-creator. Additionally, FX president John Landgraf announced at the premiere that a room inside the network’s office will be named after Singleton.
“He used to always say that you wanted this show to end on the day that ‘Boyz n the Hood’ started and that he always kind of saw this in his mind as a prequel to to that. It feels like you were a part of a bigger story that he was working on telling,” Hudson said.
“The world that he was trying to talk about was a world that, when he started, hadn’t been shown. He pioneered that, and this is about saying, ‘How did that world come to be?’ It really works to answer these bigger questions about how the whole globe played a part in what happened in one neighborhood and the lives that were being lived there,” he continued, adding that Singleton and the show’s legacy is about “giving that neighborhood a context within history and geopolitics.”
“We talked about him. He’s present. He didn’t leave us,” he added.
“Snowfall” will return with its final season on Feb. 22.