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…
Shooting in the FBI offices is always a longer day than one thinks, and the lawyer-ly jargon can leave you cross-eyed. “Don’t Go,” written by Safia Dirie and directed by Rob Hardy, went to a whole other level. Spike Lee’s Inside Man was the inspiration for all those interrogation scenes. Now, an interrogation scene wouldn’t be complete without the classic two-way mirror, but in TV land, that doesn’t actually exist. To pull it off, Rob had to do something called “block shooting,” where you shoot all the scenes from one direction through glass, and then turn around and shoot all the scenes from another direction with a mirror in the background. It became a round-robin of scene work and made for incredibly long days. Taking the brunt of it were our guest star actors Arija Bareikis, who played MJ, and Tim Guinee, who played her partner, Lance Donovan. They had to repeat all those scenes at least 50 times, and may I add they did so brilliantly. Arija gives MJ a beautiful soft power, and Tim undercuts “white” Donovan’s menace with a quirky mirth.
With all those long hours, it’s damn lucky that we really like each other. While the FBI boys are a constant thorn in Angela’s side, Andy Bean, David Fumero, and Shane Johnson are the best castmates a girl could ask for. They are just the right amount of supportive, prepared, and most importantly, cuckoo-bananas. David and I have a shoddy buddy system when passing the crafty table, or staring longingly at the half gallon of melting ice cream next to the cookies at the lunch table. He shares my Achilles’ heel of a sweet tooth, and has taught me the “walk away”… Just walk away. Walk away. So simple, yet so hard.
Power is Andy Bean’s first television job, ever. Talk about sticking the landing at first go! He came from doing regional theater — and I would love to get the chance to see him on stage, especially after he surprised us with his take on the “east London douchey DJ” at one of our read throughs. It was shocking and hilarious. He is one of the most thoughtful, collaborative people you will ever meet and he takes the cake for the most crackpot sense of humor (not to mention the best Sponge Bob Square Pants impression I have ever seen).
Shane Johnson and I coincidently went to Whitman College. This is notable because Whitman is teeny-tiny, with only 1,200 students. He graduated the spring before I started, so we didn’t know each other. He makes walking the Saxe line look easy, but pulling off sleazy, funny, antagonistic, and somehow likable all at the same time, is so f—ing hard. Take my word for it. He has the quickest wit I have ever come across, and if anyone’s humor goes blue…well, Shane goes deep sea diving with it.