Every week, Power‘s Lela Loren, who plays the feisty, determined Angela Valdez, has taken EW behind the scenes of every episode. Here, Lela brings us through the season finale…
I am not even going to try to have this last post live up to the expectations that come with writing about a season finale. So lower that bar, friends. I will say that I have enjoyed this experience immensely, and I hope that you have at least found it tolerable.
Now, everyone has their talents, but working with props is not one of mine. Seriously — any scene where I’m using any kind of prop came with a lot of outtakes. Buttoning my shirt — impossible. Putting earrings on — impossible. Carrying files — I’m guaranteed to drop them. Drinking wine — gonna dribble. At least after three seasons I can kind of walk in heels…well, sort of. I still run into desk corners. I tell our directors to use all of this as a way to grow and increase the limits of their own patience. I’ve found that directors with small children usually have a higher threshold. Luckily, the finale, “In My Best Interest,” was once again directed by Michael Bassett. He is already well aware of my underdeveloped motor and spatial skills, he has kids, and he’s British. Boom. Bassett was smart enough to have me work with the handcuffs I used on Omari ahead of time. Thank goodness because walking in heels through a swarm of extras and then cuffing Omari would have been a complete disaster. Instead, it was just a long day.
On Power, the day your character dies is usually your last day, but scheduling doesn’t always allow for that. Andy Bean, who plays Greg Knox, was killed right in the middle of his scene work. Even though it’s pretend, it’s still surreal. To commemorate the day, I thought it would be fun to have a surprise waiting for Andy in his dressing room, so I had funeral flowers with a little “RIP Greg Knox” sash and an “I just got killed off” care package filled with goodies delivered to him. The florist was definitely confused when the delivery address was Steiner Studios, and not a funeral home or church, but I told him to just go with it.
For you, the viewer, this season ended with a bang…hopefully. For us, it petered out quietly. Usually we have pick-up shots to film after all the main work is done, sometimes we even do them after our wrap party. Just like when you’re packing up and moving, it’s the little things that end up taking the most time and there is no romance in the clean up. For the last couple of years, our cast and crew all go bowling together. It’s casual and low key, but oh, so much fun and the perfect way to end the season. Well, it is for us actors, at least. Courtney Kemp, our creator, never gets a break, ever. When we end, she is knee-deep in editing and then goes right into writing the new season. Kemp has sustained this pace for three years and still has much more road to travel. Professional creativity requires more than inspiration, talent, and discipline — it requires an endurance that few are aware of, and even fewer have. So, if this is ground you want to tread, push your stamina, push your endurance, and hone your talents. You will need it all. With that, I bid you adieu. It’s been a pleasure. Much love, Lela loren.