'She is not having a good time,' the actress tells EW

By Derek Lawrence
July 02, 2017 at 10:00 PM EDT
Lela Loren as Angela in Power
Credit: Myles Aronowitz/Starz
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Relationship drama is nothing new. But none of us have had a split as complicated as Power‘s Angela Valdes.

Let’s recap: Her childhood love James “Ghost” St. Patrick (Omari Hardwick), who just broke up with her, has been wrongfully arrested by her for the murder of her FBI agent ex-boyfriend. It’s quite the mouthful and predicament.

Sunday’s episode, “Things Are Going to Get Worse,” lives up to its title as Angela’s (Lela Loren) situation goes from awkward to troublesome when the murder weapon is discovered at Ghost’s nightclub Truth, putting the death penalty on table if he is convicted. And if that wasn’t hard enough for her to handle, she’s been completely sidelined when it comes to the case.

EW caught up with Loren to get insight into how Angela is dealing with all of this, if there’s any hope for Angela and Ghost as a couple, and what’s to come.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What would you say is Angela’s mindset right now? I literally can’t imagine being in her position.
LELA LOREN: It’s a nightmare for her. Right now, I would describe Angela as kind of like an armored car. Angela always keeps your vulnerability really under wraps, and when Jamie came around, she risked everything for this sort of fantasy and promise. He was married with kids, and he’s like, “I’m going to take care of that.” And then, he was the drug dealer she was looking for, and he was like, “I’m going to take care of that. Just give me a chance.” She knows that he has a body count under him. But he promised he had to do that to get out of the game. And then, he breaks up with her and she finds out he breaks her heart in order to murder Lobos. And she can’t quite get him then because she doesn’t have evidence and she lets it slide. And then, Greg [Andy Bean] gets murdered and all the evidence points to him, so Angela feels his blood is on her hands because she didn’t check Ghost. She gave him a long leash. And so she’s trying to put an end to the madness and part of that is not letting her live in the fantasy of “what if.” She has all of her reinforcements up. So she is not having a good time.

How is she dealing with this emotionally? Is it only a matter of time before she boils over? She is kind of alone in all of this. It’s not like she’s getting any support from her co-workers.
I think Angela knows how to not boil over. I think that’s what she excels at — keeping it all stuffed down. There’s a cost that comes with it, but her survival depends on that. So she can’t indulge in how she really feels. Like, she can’t let herself fall apart. She’s not in an encouraging or supportive work environment. She’s at the mercy of these guys who take potshots at her. Because of the legalities of where she’s at, she can’t participate in this investigation, and so she’s sidelined. She has to work in the shadows and be behind-the-scenes. Angela, who is a control freak, has to relinquish control.

So Angela can’t officially be on the case and now it’s decided she can’t testify, so what can her role be? Because she’s not one to just sit on the sidelines, especially with something she’s so invested in.
Well, that’s why in episode 1 she says to Cooper Saxe [Shane Johnson], “You might be front and center for appearances, but I’m going to be the one figuring out this case.” So she’s still going to go and do her homework, and she’s going to try and get as much evidence as she can, but it’s all going to be behind-the-scenes of the action. She has to watch other people navigate that, which is really hard for her.

She’s pretty convinced that James killed Greg, even though we do see her questioning the gun being found at Truth. How much of that do you think is the evidence and how much is it related to their relationship and what she knows about James?
I think it’s a blend of both. He said some confusing things to her about how he needs to protect her from Greg and that he would do anything to protect her. And she takes that as he is showing his emotional cards, which is motive. And the fingerprints at the scene and Angela’s own guilt at going back to Greg, combined with his previous track record. One of the wonderful things about Power and why fans often say it makes their heart race is, it’s set up like a horror film because the audience is like four or five steps ahead of the characters. It’s like the expectation of, Oh my god, when is she going to find out? And how far is she going to get before the awful truth happens? Or does she find out? And what would she do if she did? The gun kicks up her instinct of “that’s too easy.” It doesn’t make sense to her. But at the same time, she can only work with what’s there at face value until she has more information.

RELATED: Season 4 of Power Brings the Show’s Drama to The Cell Block

Do you think there is any coming back from this for them as a couple?
The romantic in me would like to think that it is recoverable. The realist in me looks back and he’s really going to have to change. One of them is going to have to change. Because the way it’s set up, it isn’t just like they have some dysfunction. They’ve got two very different fundamental points of integrity that are at odds. Being a murdering drug dealer is a non-negotiable for Angela.

Rightfully so.
Right? [Laughs] That’s the tricky part — he has to never do that again, and that has proved impossible for him thus far.

Something I’ve enjoyed so far this season is, Tasha [Naturi Naughton] and Angela have already had a few face-offs, including the one at your apartment near the end of this episode. What do you enjoy about that dynamic? And what’s it been like getting to work with Naturi a little more?
Naturi is fantastic and we have such a great time. The dynamic is tense, but as much as the two women are at odds with each other, Angela never wanted this to fall on Tasha. She even said to Ghost, “This is not who I am to want to break up a family,” and so she really doesn’t want to cause Tasha harm. She sort of stomachs a lot of letting Tasha take potshots at her and she keeps it professional because she doesn’t wish this woman ill. At the same time, she needs to get a job done and as long as Ghost is alive, these two are going to be linked in some way.

Usually, so much of your stuff with the non-law enforcement side of the show is with Omari, but this season, you’re getting to work a little more with the rest of the cast, like Naturi and Jerry Ferrera. Is there one character you’d be really fascinated to watch Angela interact with?
Kanan [Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson]. Angela and Kanan. The thing is, it’s going to be a bad day for one of them. I can’t imagine Angela and Kanan going to get ice cream ever. It’s probably doomsday, but that would definitely be interesting.

What short tease can you give about what’s ahead for Angela?
She sets some things in motion that, because of the legality, she has to put the ball in other people’s courts, and then, they start doing things that are outside of her control. And she has to deal with it.

Power airs Sunday nights at 9 p.m. ET on Starz.

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