Why 'Our Kind of People' 's Yaya DaCosta Loves That Her Character Is a Hair-Care Entrepreneur

The actress and ANTM alum stars in the soapy new drama Our Kind of People on Fox

Photo: Michael Becker/FOX

Although Yaya DaCosta is a TV show veteran at this point, following career highlights that include a second place finish on cycle 3 of America's Next Top Model, stints on All My Children and Ugly Betty and six seasons on Chicago Med, the actress is charting fresh territory on her new show, Our Kind of People.

In the Fox drama, which premieres Tuesday, DaCosta stars as single mother and hair-care entrepreneur Angela Vaughn, a woman trying to live up to her mother's legacy and make her own mark in a wealthy suburb of Martha's Vineyard called Oak Bluffs.

"My favorite element is the hair," DaCosta, 38, tells PEOPLE of the best aspect of the new character and show thus far. "I think me being involved in a project related to hair is a very long time coming, and I actually was creating something related to hair during the pandemic. Coming out of that and seeing this script, I was like, 'Who's in my emails, what's going on?' It just felt very serendipitous and right on time."

DaCosta is also excited to have her longtime hairstylist Chioma Valcourt working alongside her for the series.

Yaya DaCosta and Alana Bright in OUR KIND OF PEOPLE
Brownie Harris/FOX

"It's exciting because she's a creative powerhouse and brings something to my role as someone who is innovative, as Angela Vaughn is an entrepreneur," she continues. "She's concerned with hair health, hair care, in addition to all of these different styles. And so I get to use my own crown as my display in Oak Bluffs and strut around showing people some of what I have to offer."

DaCosta, who said goodbye to her longtime role on Chicago Med in order to take on Angela in Our Kind of People, says she's also enjoying the challenges associated with a new show, cast, crew and location. (The show is filming in North Carolina.)

"Chicago's winter is not a joke. And actually, North Carolina's summer is pretty hot and humid, so it just depends on what you like. I prefer the heat," she says. "I imagine most of my ancestors were on the Equator, so I'm very happy being hot."

CHICAGO MED- "Who Knows What Tomorrow Brings" Episode 507 -- Pictured: (l-r) Yaya DaCosta as April Sexton
Elizabeth Sisson/NBC

And although DaCosta is no longer playing Med's fan-loved nurse April Sexton, the actress says she has used some of the medical terminology and knowledge she acquired during her six years on the show.

"I'm not actually a medical professional, however, if I have any reason to go to the doctor, I have noticed a difference in the way I speak and the questions that I ask," she admits. "A number of times I've been asked, 'Wait, are you a doctor?' If they didn't watch Chicago Med and they didn't know who I was, there would be a moment of like, 'How do you know to ask...?' I can speak the language."

"I also am a doula," she adds. "So if I'm supporting a woman who has chosen to give birth in the hospital, I can also speak to the people there in their language. And it definitely takes away one of the barriers that we can often experience in those settings."

Watch DaCosta in the series premiere of Our Kind of People Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET on Fox.

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