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Alexandra Shipp plays DAYS OF OUR LIVES' Marybeth as an opinionated teen for whom the world is black and white. Now, she's portraying another headstrong spirit in VH1's _ Drumline 2: A New Beat_, the sequel to the 2002 romantic comedy that changed the way people view the world of marching bands.
"I play Dani," Shipp reveals of her starring role as girl from an upper crust family in Brooklyn, NY. "She's a drummer who wants to follow her cousin to A&T University in Atlanta, but her parents really want her to go to a different college and not study music." Of course, the heart knows what it wants, and Dani's got rhythm in her blood. "She does goes to A&T and tries to get on the drumline as the first female section leader craziness ensues," Shipp previews. "It's all about girl power in this movie. It's about bridging the gap."
Acting in this movie was the easy part for Shipp, who enjoyed being on set with producer Nick Cannon (who returns for a cameo appearance as Devon Miles) and Letoya Luckett (who plays the school's dean). However, actually shooting it was another story. "We were on football fields in 90-degree heat plus humidity in Atlanta," Shipp laughs, adding, "and I was in a three-piece cotton [band uniform] with a 35-lb. metal drum on my hip!"
Not only did the actress learn to march for this role, she actually had to learn how to play. "In the first movie, Drumline, they had about six months to learn the drums, but for our movie, we had two weeks," she reveals. "So every day we were learning patterns and figuring out hand twirls with sticks and stuff like that. It was pretty strenuous, but I walked away with some pretty slick drumming moves!"
Tune in to VH1 to see Shipp in action on Monday, October 27, at 9:00 p.m. ET. For more from the actress, including the details on her starring role in Lifetime's upcoming biopic, _ Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B, don't miss the issue of _CBS Soaps In Depth on sale Monday, November 3!