The internet has been buzzing about Paolo Montalban and Brandy’s first in-person reunion since 1997’s Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella premiered 24 years ago.
While everyone is gushing over their long-standing crushes on both Montalban and Brandy, discussing the racial and cultural importance of Cinderella, and speculating if Montalban and Brandy could actually get together in real life, Queens writer Kyra Jones asked fans if they wanted to see Montalban written into the show opposite Brandy if it makes to a second season. Brandy currently stars on Queens as Naomi aka “Xplicit Lyrics,” one of the members of a four-member girl group who reconnect years after their heyday to try to make it again in the industry. The ABC series also stars Naturi Naughton, Nadine Velazquez and Eve.
Jones retweeted the viral post by @aVeryRichBish and added, “Like this if we should write him into @QueensABC.” When someone wrote that they would actually watch the show if this happened, Jones replied, “Well, you gotta watch it now so we can get a second season so that we could do it.”
Well, you gotta watch it now so we can get a second season so that we could do it.— Kyra Jones (@BlkAssFeminist) December 26, 2021
The fan response from Jones’ proposal had fans eager to not only watch the first season, but to cheer on the writers to actually make this reunion a permanent thing.
“My soul would leave my body,” wrote one commenter. “Omg. I wish I could like this a million times,” wrote another. Someone else wrote, “please write him in lol I’m actually begging.”
My soul would leave my body 😭😭— Chynna 🇨🇳 Davis (@wind_chymes) December 26, 2021
Omg, I wish I could like this a million times.— Jessica🐰, the cake princess (@AnythingQL) December 26, 2021
please write him in lol I’m actually begging— candle enthusiast ❄️ (@be95_xx) December 26, 2021
Montalban and Brandy have been cited online as many fans’ first look at an interracial relationship that represented their families or their friend groups. Indeed, the color-conscious casting was by design; executive producer Neil Meron said that he and the executive production team always wanted to incorporate color-conscious casting to reflect the world around them.
“Craig [Zadan] and I started in the theater and we worked for a man named Joseph Papp at The Public in New York. One of his mantras, the philosophy that begat ‘Hamilton’ in fact, was to do color-blind casting and always cast with diversity,” said Meron for the Shondaland article, “It’s Possible: An Oral History of 1997’s Cinderella.”
“It informed how we looked at the world and how we looked at our projects,” he continued. “We want to reflect the world we’re working in. Since we’re going for this multiracial cast, choosing actors was kind of a checkerboard that we had to examine just in terms of keeping the proper balance.”
The casting helped the production go down as the highest-rated night for The Wonderful World of Disney, reaching 23 million households and around 60 million viewers. It also cemented Brandy as a generation’s favorite princess and Montalban as their favorite prince.
Queens airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on ABC. You can watch episodes from the first season on Hulu or at ABC.com.