DETROIT (WJBK) - Detroit native Jude Demorest has been performing since the age of 4 years old. Now, she is now getting her shot at stardom as she was cast as the leading lady in the new FOX TV series "Star."
Demorest, or as she was known growing up in Detroit, Claire Demorest, was a student at Winans Academy of Performing Arts.
"She just always had so much personality and she just wanted the stage," says Pastor Marvin Winans, Perfecting Church, Winans Academy of the Performing Arts.
Pastor Winans remembers her well. Demorest started attending Perfecting Church and his academy when she was 10, and stayed for about five years before leaving for California. Pastor Winans only recently learned about "Star" when their former youth pastor sent him a text.
"He texted me and said, 'Check out this trailer. She's not our little Claire anymore; she's Jude," Winans says. "And I pushed it and said wow."
One line in the show describing her lead character is, 'Ever since Star was little, she believed her name was who she was.' Winans smiled at hearing it, saying, 'Now that's true.'
In Lee Daniels' new creation, Demorest plays a girl who battles plenty of hardship, going from foster care to stardom through grit and determination.
Winans says her years in the choir here served her well, but she always stood out from the crowd.
"I mean, you could stop her in the middle of the floor and say, 'Claire sing,' and she would break into song," he says. "She loved it.
"She went to this school that was predominantly black and just fit in, she was accepted. We would have different talent shows and they were on Team Claire."
Now FOX is hoping America's on Team Claire, too. (Only now her name is Jude.)
"I said her mama told her she was going to be a star," says Winans.
The first episode of "Star" is right here on FOX on Wednesday, December 14 at 9 p.m. Click here for more on "Star."