Articles: Yaya DaCosta: “I am thankful to be on Chicago Med.”




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By Samantha Ofole-Prince
Photos courtesy of NBC & Royalty Image

Yaya at STK in Chicago

Some may remember her from the reality television series “America’s Next Top Model,” where she was a contestant and runner up in the season 3 cycle, but Yaya DaCosta has been acting since she five years old.

A series regular on the Dick Wolf ("Law & Order" brand) produced medical drama “Chicago Med,” the actress and model has starred in several films including; “Take the Lead,” Lee Daniels’ “The Butler,”  “The Kids Are All Right” and “Honeydripper” alongside Danny Glover. She plays a nurse on “Chicago Med,” an ensemble medical drama spinoff from NBC's “Chicago Fire,” which follows the day-to-day chaos of the city's trauma center.

Yaya DaCosta as April Sexton in Chicago Med

“Her name is April Sexton and she was born and raised in Chicago, but is of Brazilian parents,” explains DaCosta whose grandfather is also of Brazilian heritage.
An intuitive ER nurse who is the lifeblood of the emergency room, April was initially introduced in “Chicago Fire.”

“Kelly (Taylor Kinney) and I are high school friends and in one of the episodes last year we hooked up,” shares DaCosta. “My character April is that nurse the doctors can go to and know the job is going to be done efficiently and properly.”

DaCosta, who has modeled for several brands that include Isaac Mizrahi and starred in films "Mother of George" and "The Messenger" alongside Woody Harrelson, has been able to spin her “America’s Next Top Model,” stint into a lucrative career, but will admit that it wasn’t easy.

“There is this myth out there the show was a stepping stone, but if it was then everyone else from the show will be doing the same thing. I had to emotionally heal from how I was critiqued and when I overcame that I had very little distraction and my work ethic was fierce,” shares the 33 year-old New York native who played pop icon Whitney Houston in the Lifetime biopic “Whitney,” which was directed by Oscar-nominee Angela Bassett.

Yaya plays April Sexton on the medical drama

“This industry is very difficult and people only see when you are doing something positive or something successful, but there are a lot of films that I did that never came out. For those who think those shows will help them, I want them to work hard and not to take it lightly. I am thankful to have a regular role on a network show. It’s not just any show, it’s the baby of Dick Wolf and it’s connected to ‘Chicago Fire,’ and ‘Chicago PD’ and I just hope that everyone loves the show.”

Chicago Med” premieres Tuesday Nov. 17 on NBC.

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