‘Salt-N-Pepa’ stars Laila Odom and GG Townson share what it took to “embody” the pioneering rap act

Laila Odom and GG Townson embraced their roles as Cheryl “Salt” James and Sandra “Pepa” Denton in Lifetime’s Salt-N-Pepa biopic that aired Saturday. 

Odom, who stars as Pepa, says she hopes fans focused on the story rather than their resemblance to the first ladies of hip hop.

“When it comes to the biopics, it’s really important that we address the fact that we’re not look a-likes, we’re not supposed to look exactly like them,” Odom tells ABC Audio. “What we’re supposed to do is bring the story to life and embody the things about that character. That’s what actors are supposed to do.” 

Odom said she’s “ok” with those who have mixed feelings about the film but hopes they’ll “give it a chance.”

“[Salt-N-Pepa] were 19-year-old girls that weren’t even in music that ended up breaking records and doing all sorts of amazing things,” says Odom. “But what we’re not going to do is operate and pick and have problems with things.”

“Because this story is about women empowerment and right now…we need that the most. We have a woman of color in office, so we’re just going to talk about the high notes,” she continues. “We’re going to talk about the fact that their song, [“Whatta Man”] is one of the forty-six songs selected for the inauguration.” 

GG, who plays Salt, said it’s “ridiculous” viewers felt negatively about the slight exclusion of DJ Spinderella, who was terminated from the group in 2019.  

“In my opinion, no one can tell them how to tell their story other than them,” adds GG. “So at the end of the day, you’re mad at them for telling it the way that they want it to be told.”

By Rachel George
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