It was sort of a crazy weekend for television — Orange Is the New Black’s second season dropped, Game of Thrones’ penultimate episode aired — so you are forgiven if you missed the June 7 premiere of Starz’s new series, Power — but only this week! The exciting new crime thriller is one of our favorite shows for summer, and much of that has to do with the dynamic female characters.
One of Power’s killer leading ladies is Lela Loren (The Hangover III, Gang Related), who portrays government lawyer Angela Valdes, the first love of drug lord James “Ghost" St. Patrick (Omari Hardwick). Wetpaint Entertainment chatted with Lela exclusively, who dished on how executive producer 50 Cent was “completely unexpected,” and what the show has in common with Breaking Bad.
Wetpaint Entertainment: What made you decide to join the Power cast?
Lela Loren: What I appreciated about Angela is she’s a really interesting blend of street and intellect. She navigates both worlds — she’s a sophisticated, polished, and ambitious lawyer, and she’s also the street girl of her past. Throughout the series you’ll see her developing a whole other aspect of herself, though I won’t spoil it!
Tell us what it was really like working with 50 Cent.
What’s really exciting about someone like 50 is he doesn’t let his creativity get boxed into any one single thing. He’s constantly pushing the bounds of where his artistry flows into. There’s also something really mama hen about him — papa hen I should say! He’s so warm and so encouraging, and also incredibly respectful. It was completed unexpected as to what I had imagined. He’s someone who’s been surprising in the best way possible.
There are some parallels with Breaking Bad with the drug peddler having personal ties to the person trying to take him down. Did you notice that?
There’s something really interesting in our culture with the anti hero, and this idea where we’re challenging our perceptions of who’s the hero and who’s the villain. Things aren’t clear cut anymore — you see the humanity on both sides, and also the selfishness. Because we live in a culture where there’s also corruption and activism, it’s really fun to see a script where all of those elements exist within one character.
You’ve starred in crime-related TV shows in the past, how does this differ?
I think what’s nice is that I’m not like a drug-peddling mule with the heart of gold with this character [laughs]. I think a lot of times whenever you play a Latina character you get boxed in the victimized role and Angela is in a completely opposite spectrum. I get to showcase a female who’s seriously intelligent, ambitious, and not under anyone’s thumb.
For someone who is coming in blind, why should viewers tune in for the show?
I think the show is brash, it’s dangerous, it’s sophisticated, it’s sexy. I think that they’ll be made uncomfortable, entertained, titillated, and delighted — all at the same time.
Tune into Power when it airs Saturday nights at 9 p.m. ET on Starz.
Are you tuning into this exciting new show? Tell us in the comments below.