1-on-1 with Naturi Naughton of ‘Power’
The highly anticipated Season 2 of Starz’s hit show “Power” is underway, and we caught up with one of the stars of the show, Naturi Naughton. The former 3LW musician speaks with us about what we can expect from her character, Tasha, this season. She also provides some tips on what to expect while pursuing a career in the entertainment industry, and how her character on the show has helped her grow personally.
JET: Let’s talk Power. What can we expect from Tasha in Season 2?
Naturi Naughton: Whew! Well, I would say expect Tasha to become a little harder, a little more gangster, a little bit more independent of Ghost. And she starts to find her own strengths. I think this whole season for Tasha is her really realizing that she’s always identified her value based on Ghost, and he’s kind of her everything. She’s built him up, she helped him get his empire, she’s done everything for Ghost and the family, but now she’s going to start thinking, “maybe I should take care of myself,” and that’s a dangerous place for a scorned woman. So I think it’s going to be an interesting ride to watch Tasha grow.
JET: Last season ended with Tasha beginning her independence as Ghost stepped out of the marriage. Will Tasha also find someone?
Naturi Naughton: I can’t really say, but Tasha is very loyal, and she’s trying to hold out for Ghost to get it together. I mean she loves her husband. I think that you’ll see Tasha definitely be human. She’s vulnerable, especially right now with Ghost acting a fool (laughs). So I think you’ll just get a chance to see how that all plays out, and I think it’s one of those things you’ll just have to watch and wait and see.
JET: What are some things that you’ve personally learned while being on the show?
Naturi Naughton: I’ve learned a lot actually. It’s been a great journey because while playing Tasha, I gained a lot of strength as Naturi. Just really really embracing my own power, not apologizing for myself, who I am, and what I want out of life. I think I’m just maturing honestly. It’s interesting because this is a complex character, she’s not all good and she’s not all bad. I think that as women, we play a lot of different roles and we’re vulnerable. So I think I’ve learned about how hard it is as I’m growing as a woman. You know when I turned 30, the character Tasha was turning 30 the same time I did. So it’s interesting because I’m becoming a woman with this role. As I’m growing into Tasha, I’m growing as Naturi, so it’s been great. I think it’s making me stronger.
JET: What do you have to say to those who still haven’t seen Power and are hesitant to watch the show?
Naturi Naughton: I think this show will captivate you and I would say continue to take the ride with us and take the journey. These characters are interesting. They’re crazy, they’re wild, they’re young and emotional, but I think that if you watch Power and give us a shot, you’ll really connect to the fact that there’s something universal about a man just trying to make it. He’s trying to get out of the drug game, trying to go legit and be a business man, be a club owner, and I think it’s doesn’t necessarily have to be a drug dealer to understand that he’s trying to go legit. It could be anything. Transitioning careers, growing as college students, entering into the real world –I think there’s a universal thing that connects just what it is to be human in this country and trying to make it.
JET: Although you career in the music business didn’t turn out how you planned, how did you turn your bad experiences from being in a girl group into something empowering?
Naturi Naughton: I think that everything I experienced as a teenager and coming out of the music business and the girl group that I was in just made me so much more aware of what I wanted and how I deserve to be treated. I think that the way I flipped it was to take a break from it all. I went to Seton Hall University and studied political science and that was something totally different from being a teenage pop star. I wanted to make sure I stayed grounded in myself and just be educated, as well as stay strong in my faith and keep my family close. I realized that I didn’t just need the business, I needed to be happy. I needed myself, my sanity, and once I realized that and got strong again, I realized that God gave me a talent and a gift and I’m not going to let anybody stop me from using it.
JET: Do you have any close friends in the industry who keep you inspired?
Naturi Naughton: I Do. I feel lucky because I’ve made some friends in the business. Nicole Behari is a good friend of mine of Sleepy Hallow. Teyana Parris, she’s one of the Starz family from Survivor’s Remorse, and some of my people that really are mature and have been in this business longer than I have [like] Regina King. [She’s] a good friend that continues to inspire me and give me wisdom and pointers. Regina King directed me in Let The Church Say Amen, a BET film that’s coming out this summer in August actually so look out for that. It was her directorial debut and I learned so much from just listening to her as a woman, as an actress, and now as a director so she’s somebody I really look up to. Loretta Devine and Lela Rochon are all friends that I look up to as mentors and have continued to guide me as I’m coming through the same path that they’ve already traveled. I’m really really really fortunate to have friends, to have mentors, to have these people. George Tillman really has been there for me as a supporter and I absolutely love George. He directed me in my first film, Notorious, [and he] really encouraged me. I just really like having his guidance as well, so I’m really lucky.
JET: Any advice for young girls who want to pursue music and acting, but aren’t sure if they have the strength for the business?
Naturi Naughton: Well trust me, I don’t always feel like I have the strength to do it. This is a hard business and I would advise that if you’re not all the way sure that you want to do this, then you probably don’t want to do it. You can’t just do this as a side thing. I believe that you really have to jump all in if that’s what you want. I think that you have to be able to take rejection, that’s one of the big things I always tell people who want to be in this business. Just know that everybody is not going to like you, everybody’s not going to appreciate what you do, and what you bring to the table. There’s going to be a lot of moments where you feel low and you’re just going to have to pick yourself right back up and be strong, so I just tell people that. I also advise people to know who you are before you get in this business because this business will try to change you and it’s not always for the good. Just know that there’s so many people in Hollywood trying to tell you how you dress, the way you should talk, that you should get plastic surgery, or you need to be lighter, you need to be darker, it’s just so many different things that are trying to make you feel insecure. I hope that anyone who thinks they want to do this knows who they are, or else the business will try to take over and make you into what it wants to make you.