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Power episode 9: Lela Loren describes challenges

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Jessica Miglio

Every week, Power‘s Lela Loren, who plays the feisty, determined Angela Valdez, is bringing EW behind the scenes of every episode. Take it away, Lela…

When we are filming, it often feels like we’re flying blind. As an actor, you have no idea if your choices are right or if they work. Some scenes feel like a complete Hail Mary. Imagine you’re blindfolded and cook a massive Thanksgiving feast with only new recipes, without getting to taste any of them along the way. There is a deep camaraderie of insecurity between us actors. You rehash choices you’ve made among those who are close to you, and inevitably bang your head against the wall when you finally figure out the scene… a day after you shot it! The saving grace of being on a series is also one of its challenges. You can’t dwell on the mistakes you’ve made because there are new scenes constantly coming — it makes you drop that worry and move on. So, where am I going with this? Well, knowing that process and understanding that none of us can escape it makes it that much sweeter when you watch another actor play in the pocket of reality, imagination, and surprise.

Some characters are big and bold like Tommy and Lobos, others are more subtle like Milan. Callan Mulvey brings something unnervingly soothing to Milan’s villainy. His threats roll off his tongue languidly, yet potently. He eats his stew with a strange blend of grace and barbarism. Kinda makes you want to see Milan eat a person, like he was once rumored to have done… I only ever got to see Callan at table reads or passing through the hall, but here’s a little behind-the-scenes juice for you: Almost every woman working on set who came in contact with that man had a crush on him. We have a wide range of women, so that shows some serious reach. 

Now, Power is hard. I’ve talked about deaths before, and this season we have said goodbye to so many close to us. And with “I Call the Shots,” we said goodbye to Luis Ramos who plays Vibora Ruiz. For you, the audience, we are just characters.  Maybe you love us, maybe you hate us, maybe you’re ambivalent. But on the inside, we are all a family and it’s unsettling when one by one, our family gets picked off. (That’s the peril of working on a crime show.) I’ve known Luis for a very long time — he played my boyfriend on my second TV job ever, The Shield. Luis has the uncanny ability to fill a small moment with history and life, and he loves to play. His verve is infectious and at times, almost overwhelming. Ramos eats up life the way you sink your teeth into a perfectly chilled watermelon. Watching it makes your mouth water. Adios amigo, fue un placer. 

The finale will have your jaw on the floor. Just saying. Prepare yourself. Besos.

Follow me at @LelaLoren on Twitter and @misslloren on Instagram.