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‘Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Grrrls’ Director Explains the Bright and Sexy Feel of the Amazon Reality Show

Nneka Onuorah discusses the series that elevates the contestants into superstars

“Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Grrrls” has arrived on Amazon Prime Video, and the dance competition show is as bright and fun as the entertainer herself.

In the series, women from across the country compete, with the winners (AKA, those who are “Good As Hell” — pun very much intended) getting a chance to be a part of Lizzo’s “Big Grrls” touring dance crew.

Series director Nneka Onuorah explained that even though she takes great care in choosing projects, “Watch Out for the Big Grrrls” was an immediate yes.

“I knew what Lizzo’s point of view was before I joined the project and her values align with mine, which are we’re putting the girls to the forefront. We’re taking a nuanced community and giving them a universal, commercial platform to tell an authentic story, and we are going to have fun and be ourselves and bring that Black girl magic language, energy, dance moves to it,” Onuorah told TheWrap. “So that was a part of me deciding to join the project is that this [was] going to be respectful and tasteful and honest.”

The first episode of the series finds the women auditioning in front of Lizzo herself, with their dance moves captured so perfectly, it’s like every frame is a portrait photo, something that continues throughout the season as challenges move outdoors.

“I want us to feel like we’re locked into these girls’ world, like we’re in their body, in their skin, because that’s definitely a directorial approach that I like to take is to make things feel close to home,” the director said. “And also, very big and larger than life because I see these girls as superstars. And I was like, ‘How do we show superstardom through these girls?’”

One way to capture the magic was to have a greater number of cameras than usual, which allowed them to focus on the dancers’ physiques, and celebrate them.

“I made sure we had cameras that were dedicated just to their bodies. And I told one of the cameras –  [we] had sometimes five, six cameras — you know, one camera, I said, ‘Really romanticize the girls’ curves. When you see these girls, you know, rolls on their stomach, that’s gorgeous. Show that. Make that glamorous.’ And so we were intentional about accentuating and glamorizing the body, the female body, and its voluptuousness, the luxuriousness and all of its grandiosity as well,” Onuorah said.

It’s a message Lizzo herself is well known for.

Another thing Lizzo is known for is her vibrancy, and this show captures that through its colorful feel.

In this project, I was very intentional about color. A lot of my projects, they use neon, bright colors and part of that is because colors are direct correlation to mood,” Onuorah explained. “And I wanted the show to feel uplifting, inspiring, vibrant and alive. So … when I let Amazon know what creative I was going to do, very much the visual style and the color was a part of it because I wanted the ethos of this project to feel uplifting. … So, in order to do that, I use a lot of bright colors, and we were very specific in wardrobe, hair and makeup. We had meetings with the team and said like, ‘This is the mandate for what this show should look like.’”

All episodes of “Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Grrrls” are available to stream now on Prime Video.

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