Lauren Baldwin is very much among the living, but where has she been?
Fans were in for a shock when Lauren showed up at the conclusion of Power Book II: Ghost Season 3 Episode 1, and we’re all waiting on pins and needles to see where things will go next. There are a ton of questions, starting with what happened?
As we await those answers, TV Fanatic checked in with Lauren’s portrayer, Paige Audrey-Marie Hurd, to talk about what it was like keeping THAT secret, where we’ll find Lauren when we meet back up with her, and what its been like being a part of the Power family.
And the questions didn’t stop at just Power, as we talked about her time on The Oval and some of her favorite series.
It was a very well-rounded chat with the warm and affable Hurd. Enjoy, Power fans!
When you were filming season two, how much did you know about where Lauren’s storyline would go that season?
We take it case by case almost, so episode by episode. I want to say around episode, well, I will say two. For my intuition alone, I felt like she was getting a little too Nancy Drew for me. I was like, mm, you’re probing a little too much. This couldn’t end well for her.
And my intuition was semi-correct. I know she was supposed to die, but not. But I started to find out from our higher-ups, I think around episode eight, I got that call, or it was right before episode nine, but it was really close to when the finale was about to happen. It’s not too much of a crazy heads-up.
And how hard has it been, or how hard was it, to keep quiet about what was going on with Lauren and that she was actually alive?
It has been the longest year and some change of my life to keep it a secret. Especially with people walking up to you or, I think for me, the hardest was my family and friends. That was super, super hard. So it’s been rough, but I’m happy it’s out, and I feel like I could breathe.
Oh yeah. So you kept it really quiet. You didn’t tell anybody?
Yeah. I also really dove into it. I didn’t post where I was anymore. I barely got on social media. I just knew the Power fans are so smart, so I didn’t want them to know that I was in New York.
And again, there were a few people who got it like, “Oh, she’s only in New York for a certain thing.” Who kind of felt like, “Okay, what is she doing?” But other than that, I just had to keep it super quiet.
Lauren is alive! Talk to us about that cliffhanger at the end of the Power Book II: Ghost Season 3 premiere.
Yes, she’s alive. She is, as I would say, alive and well. But there are definitely some challenges, and I think a lot that her character is going to have to figure out and things that she’s still confused about and stuff.
And without giving away too much, it’s like, where does she end up? Does she come out of where she is? But she has been with Jenny Sullivan.
Without spoiling anything, is there anything you can preview for us about how she’s feeling?
Well, our episode two trailer did just come out, so I can speak on that. She is not sure what happened because of the car accident. So, she is a little brain foggy. I think she’s more upset and scared because her parents also think she’s dead.
So, there are a lot of emotions and feelings that Lauren’s feeling in this season. We’re definitely going to see a range of emotions from her character, for sure.
I’m excited. So many things are happening at any given time on Power Ghost. Do you ever read the scripts, and you’re just like, how do they come up with this stuff? What is going on?
Oh my gosh, yeah.
There are so many different things happening.
All the time. Honestly, Power is what made me want to go sit in the writer’s room because I just was like, this is so wild how they come up with this, or how one story will be happening, another story will be happening, and then all of a sudden it merges together. And it’s kind of been in your face the whole time, but you didn’t know.
So you go back, and you’re like, oh my gosh. They were making me want to be a writer or at least just sit in the room to see how it goes because the writing is impeccable.
The relationship between Lauren and Tariq has been a major aspect of the series from the beginning. What do you think drew Lauren to Tariq?
What drew Lauren to Tariq? Outside of the fact that Tariq is a full menace, I think that he doesn’t mean to be. I think he’s just like a product of his own environment. I think that outside of those things, he’s so smart, and Tariq is charming, and you would never know any of these things about him.
Outside of the biggest flaw that he has of killing people, I think that she just, like any college girl, he was charming, smart, and nice, and they just grew something.
Yeah, they just had a connection.
With such a huge cast, and as I said before, with so many different things going on at any given time, everybody doesn’t always get to connect. If there was anyone you wish Lauren got to spend some more time with on screen, who would you choose?
Does it have to be my show, or could it be from any show prior?
Oh yeah, I like that better. Any show prior, too.
Yeah. See, because my answer would be Tommy. I almost wish that there was a way that Tommy could be in this universe, so then if Lauren does happen to turn bad, she turns bad with Tommy. So that would be really cool.
Or maybe she could go to Chicago and start over.
Yes, I thought of that. Well, she did cut her hair, and is brown now. Maybe she could go ahead and go hang out with Mr. Tom Tom.
You touched on this before because I was going to ask if you were familiar with Power, but it sounds like you were. So were you following the series and everything before getting cast on this show?
Yeah. 100%. Power was my favorite show. Along with another TV drama that was more family-oriented, though, This is Us, but This is Us and Power were the two shows that you could get me to actually sit down every Sunday. And me and my friends are cooking dinner and having Power watch parties.
So yeah, I was super, super geeked when I heard about a spinoff. I was a little hesitant at first because I was like, oh, don’t touch it. It’s so good. But I was like, I still have to be a part of it in some way because it’s one of my favorites, and I’m super thankful that I got the opportunity to be a part of it.
What has it been like being part of the phenomenon? Because you touched on this earlier, too, the Power fans are great. They’re so passionate. They love the universe. They love the characters. How have you felt about the fan reception for Lauren?
It’s definitely been a ride. It’s been a learning lesson in the last few years for me. I’ve learned a lot. The Power fans are overly passionate, so one minute, they love you, and the next, they hate you. And by hate, they are on the streets treating you as if you’re the character.
But it was interesting. At first, it was super fun, and everybody was like, “Oh, Lauren, she’s so cool,” Then it was like, she wore that watch, and then it was, “Oh God, we hate you. You’re a rat. You’re this. You’re that.” So, it’s been a ride, for sure.
Yeah. I’m still grateful. And it was a really good introduction to my adult career for whatever I do next. I have to just understand it’s not me, it’s my character, and it’s just preparing me for whatever criticism I would receive after this. That’s exactly what it did, actually.
How would you describe season three, if you could, in three words?
Ooh. Season three and three words. One is unpredictable. I know that it’s said sometimes, but this is actually very unpredictable. For my character, emotional. These are always the hardest questions, the three-word things.
Everybody takes it up a notch for every character and story. It almost feels like we’re going into a whole different world. So I don’t know. But yeah, you can just use two.
Switching gears a little bit, I wanted to ask you because I love The Oval. I still watch The Oval. I wanted to ask you about your time on the series.
Oh, thank you.
How was that experience filming?
I really enjoyed my first family. It was really hard to leave them, and I had a really good time with them. I enjoyed playing that character, that was my first time getting to play overly evil just for that long period of time, and it was so fun once I finally just got comfortable in doing so. It was a really good time.
And like I said, my mom, my dad, and my brother, I really enjoyed having fun with them because we all hated each other on screen, but we’re super cool.
That’s cool! I work for an outlet called TV Fanatic, and as the name would apply, we’re really big fans of TV. So, what shows are you currently enjoying, and what is a good comfort show for you?
Ooh, okay. Good comfort shows are ratchet reality TV. When I say that, I mean a Bad Girls Club. There’s a Bad Girls Club remake that’s on right now. 90 Day Fiancé isn’t ratchet, but 90 Day Fiancé, those are all comforting. A show that I’m watching right now, I started back watching Your Honor, so I’m catching up on season one.
Your Honor, and what else are we watching? I was catching up on BMF, and because I love This Is Us so much, I’m not ready for it to be over, so I still have about five episodes in their last season that I’m slowly but surely watching.
***This interview has been edited for length and clarity.***
You can watch Power Book II: Ghost at 8/9c on Starz. And you can follow our weekly reviews here at TV Fanatic!
Whitney Evans is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.