P-Valley's Shannon Thornton Teases Keyshawn's Big Break (and How Far She's Willing to Go to Keep It)

You know what they say: Shake it ’til you make it.

So now that P-Valley‘s Keyshawn is an overnight viral sensation, thanks to the combination of her sweet stripper moves and Lil’ Murda’s backing track, The Artist Known As Miss Mississippi is more than ready to do what’s necessary in order to capitalize on her newfound fame.

Ahead of Sunday’s episode (Starz, 9/8c), TVLine got on the phone with Shannon Thornton — aka Miss M-I-Crooked Letter-Crooked-Letter-I-Crooked-Letter-Crooked-Letter-I-Humpback-Humpback-I herself — to talk Keyshawn and Lil’ Murda’s arrangement, her abusive boyfriend’s potential response and a very revealing scene in this week’s hour.

TVLINE | I love that when Keyshawn blows up a little bit, when the video of her dancing hits WorldstarHipHop, she sees it as divine intervention in her life.
Absolutely.

TVLINEAll of a sudden, she has this plan that involves acting as Lil’ Murda’s girlfriend in order to cover the fact that he’s involved with Uncle Clifford. Do you think she’s been angling for a way into the spotlight and just took advantage of being in the right place at the right time? 
Keyshawn’s always known that she was a star, even with her social media. Like, she has a large social media following. I think she’s always wanted to be famous. Her way getting in through the success of this song was by chance. This was supposed to be Mercedes’ night, and [Keyshawn] comes in and saves the day because Mercedes doesn’t show up. But I think what the audiences will discover is that she’s actually very, very smart, and I think it’s pretty brilliant the way she capitalizes off of the success of this song and this performance. So, she brings in Lil’ Murda to collaborate with her, and they become a fake couple. She thought it would make sense for them to appear as if they’re together, you know?

TVLINEHow much of that do you think she’s doing for him, and how much of it do you think she’s doing for her? 
It’s all for her. [Laughs] I don’t think she had him in mind at all. I think he is a way of getting to where she needs to go, to her goal, but I don’t think she’s really thinking about him. I think also she may be using the fact that she knows his secret to her advantage. When he brings it up and she looks at him and smiles and she’s like, “I don’t even know what you’re talking about right now,” [there’s the chance that] she may or may not out him.

TVLINEThe fact that Keyshawn is in an abusive relationship with Derrick makes me so worried for her. There’s no way he’s going to like this! What can you tell us about how that’s heading as we reach the end of the season?
You will find that Derrick, he’s jealous. He’s jealous of her success, and you can see that he feels like he’s losing her a bit. The higher she rises in her fame, the more jealous he appears, and you can really start to see it boil over.

TVLNEWithout giving away exactly what happens, you need to tease the unique way Keyshawn helps Lil’ Murda with his stage fright in this week’s episode.
Oh my gosh… She just wants him to, you know, bare his soul in a very unconventional way. [Laughs]

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