Warning: This interview contains spoilers for the Oct. 25 episode of Queen Sugar.
The family at the heart of Queen Sugar is about to find out how strong their bonds really are.
In this week’s episode of the OWN drama, Darla (Bianca Lawson) reunited with her estranged parents for the first time in six years and introduced them to her fiancé, Ralph Angel (Kofi Siriboe), and her son, Blue (Ethan Hutchison).
But the bittersweet reunion led to a shocking revelation. As Darla made amends to her father, he reminded her of a long-held secret, one that she shouldn’t keep in sobriety. So, she went to Ralph Angel with a confession — she’d slept with an unknown man while visiting home, and Blue’s paternity is up in the air.
It was devastating news for Ralph Angel, and something that is sure to tear apart the Bordelons.
Lawson talked to Yahoo Entertainment about the bombshell that could change everything.
Did you know this secret from the start? Or did you find out when you read the script?
That was a surprise for me. Ava [DuVernay, the show’s creator] called me before the script came out and told me about it. It was shocking and it took a minute to land, it took a minute to process.
I had to go in and do a scene that day where I was so happy, and I felt like I was grieving for the characters, grieving for Darla, grieving for Blue, grieving for Ralph Angel and the whole family. I was actually kind of surprised by how emotional I got about it. It’s a major thing.
Very major. It could change everything!
It changes everything! It also gave me more information about [Darla]. It’s not just that she was carrying this secret, but also that when the conception happened, she was at home in D.C. with her family and friends, and she used the drugs at a party with her friends so she thought she was in a safe place.
She doesn’t even know who it was that she had sex with. So there’s something really traumatic about that, and the shame that can create. And then her parents finding out. And then finding out she’s pregnant.
It’s interesting, you never know what a traumatic event like that can do to a person and whether that’s a contributing factor in how she really spun down that rabbit hole afterwards.
How do you approach such an emotional scene like that?
Every scene is different. Some days are easier than others. I’m not someone who does the same thing every time. I’m different every day. When you come to work, different things can happen to you right before you step on set that changes your energy.
I actually had to do ADR for a scene the other day and it was a really emotional scene. I had to re-create the most emotional scene I’ve probably done up until that point — in a sound booth with two people watching me, waiting for me. Watching the scene back, it’s been some time now since I shot that, I was like, “Oh my god, I can’t go back there, I don’t know how I got there!”
So, with scenes like that, I try to get quiet and just show up with whatever I have that day.
Your scene with Michael Michele, who plays her mom, was amazing. You could feel the history between the two characters. Did you rehearse that together?
We didn’t even really chat about it. We just read the scene once with our amazing director and alone in a room. And then we shot it. There were things that she pulled out of me. It was really natural. It all kind of spontaneously happened in the moment — the history was creating itself in the moment between us. It was like magic. I loved, loved working with Michael.
So, what can we expect after this revelation?
It could go a million different ways. What I like about this is in terms of a larger conversation that could potentially happen after this bombshell — it asks the question, what is family really? Is family people that you share blood with? Is it conditional on that one thing, or is it the time you spend and the love you share?
There’s something about a crisis or something so overwhelming like this — people go to their primal instincts. You really see who people are in these moments. It’s going to get very deep. Very deep. It really looks at how people deal with these hard truths about life.
She could’ve never said anything, but like her dad said to her, if you’re going to get married and make this commitment, you have to have total honesty. And if she’s going to stay sober, she can’t have any secrets. Everything has to be on the table. There’s something really powerful about that.
People, once they’ve processed their pain and shock, what’s left? What’s really there when everything’s blown up?
Queen Sugar airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on OWN.
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