Early ‘00s girl group 3LW may be long gone, but two of the former “little women” are breaking out in a big way in 2014. While Adrienne Bailon is keeping busy with reality TV and her upcoming talk show, her former bandmate Naturi Naughton is starring in the 50 Cent-produced Starz crime drama, Power, premiering this Saturday, June 7.
Wetpaint Entertainment was lucky enough to chat with Naturi recently, and she opened up about what drew her to the role of Tasha St. Patrick, the wife of drug distributor with a heart of gold, James “Ghost” St. Patrick (Omari Hardwick). We also got her to dish on what it’s really like to work with 50 Cent, and how she plans to bring her music to the show. Read on for all the scoop!
Wetpaint Entertainment: What drew you to this show as a project?
Naturi Naughton: I thought it was authentic and real. It just felt like these characters were really full, and Tasha’s character was so strong. She’s just a confident woman and a wife that stands by her man.
You grew up in the New York area. Is the way the show portrays the city on par with your experience?
I’m Jersey girl, so I have to say, I was excited about the way they used the city of New York as a character on the show. It really helped create the honesty and the grittiness. It’s definitely not the experience that I lived growing up, but I do feel it’s authentic with going to clubs and just the feel that everything is exclusive. I think this show embodies the uniqueness and diversity of New York.
Though the show seems geared towards men with a male protagonist, Tasha is a very powerful character. Were you looking for that strong female role?
I don’t know if I was looking for anything other than just great work, great writing. It’s really hard as an actor, especially as a woman of color, to find great material and women who are not just one-dimensional. I think I’m usually drawn to the vulnerable characters, people who on the outside are very powerful like Tasha but who are actually really scared and afraid of losing security.
How has it been working with 50 Cent as a producer?
Awful. [Laughs] No honestly, working with 50 has been amazing. He has been a pleasure, a true supportive energy on-set. He’s a real professional, and it’s refreshing. Coming from the hip hop world, I was in the record business when his career was completely taking off, and I remember admiring his work as an artist. And now seeing him evolve is just inspiring.
We hear that you will be singing a bit on the show this season. Can you tell us more about that?
I’m really excited. I’m singing in one of the later episodes in the season, so keep watching! It’s going to be very, very exciting.
Has that inspired you to work on some of your own music, or are you just focusing on acting for now?
I’m always inspired to work on music — I’ve been doing music since I was 15 years old. So I’m always going to find ways to infuse music into probably everything in my life — as you can see from a lot of my roles, even Lil’ Kim [in 2009’s Notorious]. Our showrunner, Courtney Kemp Agboh, really embraced that I had a musical background and created a special moment for me to sing in the show. It has inspired me to pursue it even more seriously, but right now my primary focus is to just be the actress that I am and enjoy playing this awesome role in Power.
Power premieres Saturday, June 7, at 9 p.m. ET on Starz.
Will you tune in to see Naturi in Power? Tell us in the comments below.