Lela Loren breaks stereotypes in “Power”

Lela-Loren_StarzEntertainment[dropcap]O[/dropcap]n June 7, STARZ debuted the highly-anticipated new original crime drama series “Power.” Set between the glamorous nightlife and gritty streets of New York City, it is the riveting tale of a nightlife entrepreneur living a double life as he struggles to build a legitimate business empire and leave the drug underworld behind. As the kingpin of the most influential and lucrative drug network in the city, controlled by the powerful Mexican drug cartel, James “Ghost” St. Patrick must find balance between both worlds.

Executive produced by 50 Cent, “Power” features a talented multicultural cast of veteran actors, including Mexican-American actress Lela Loren who stars as Angela Valdes, Ghost’s long-lost love interest who is also the fed that might be the key to his demise.

EXTRA: Tell me about the series and why you got involved?

Lela Loren: “Power” is loosely a story about a high drug dealer. He is seduced by the idea of being a legitimate businessman. Nobody wants him to do that. Everybody is invested in him. It’s sort of an inverted story of identity and how we have to change who are after we make certain decisions. My character and him are childhood sweethearts. We grew up in the same neighborhood. My character became an assistant attorney.

What do we need to know about your character?

My character is very smart and ambitious, but at the same time can be shady and arrogant. As an actor, it’s fun to play a darker character. Sometimes you can be so empathetic and I think we can relate as human beings. For me, it is a lot of fun—kind of juicy and delicious (laughs).

You are Mexican-American. What was your upbringing like?

My upbringing was interesting. I learned Spanish later. I had the classical American upbringing. I grew up with Guns N’ Roses, selling lemonade. The interesting thing is [my character] Angela is Puerto Rican. I had to understand the mindset. The mindset is very different. A lot of Puerto Ricans grow up speaking Spanglish. When you are a  child, you don’t need a language. The irony is when I go to Mexico I am treated as white and when you get older they start to label you. I remember watching Oprah when I was 12 and she talked about mixed race kids that didn’t have any identity and I didn’t realize this is the category that I am in. What I like about Angela’s character is that we have a lot of similarities in terms of my upbringing and intelligence. 

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