“I’m A Better Person Because Of Her” Naturi Naughton Shares Where She Draws Her ‘POWER’ From

July 8, 2018  |  

naturi naughton on where she draws power from

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POWER super fans are getting their much-needed fix after the Starz series made it’s much anticipated season five premiere last week. One of the most important characters made her return to prove she’s a survivor and can make moves just like leading character “Ghost” played by Omari Hardwick. Naturi Naughton plays “Tasha St. Patrick”, Ghost’s ride-or-die better half who can definitely hold her own and is always two steps ahead. In an interview in the latest issue of ESSENCE, Naughton shares she often looks to her character for inspiration in her own life:

“Tasha is such a warrior; she’s a survivor—not only [with] losing her marriage but also with her children. I don’t know how much more Tasha can take, but I admire her strength.”

Naughton isn’t exactly a shrinking violet herself. Her role on POWER is the latest in a list of acting credits in which she’s played powerful women. In 1999, she brought her vocal talents to the singing group 3LW. After leaving the group, she went on to score her first Broadway role as “Little Inez” in the Tony Award-winning musical Hairspray. But Naughton reveals she wasn’t always completely committed to a singing career and has always had additional interests outside of the recording studio:

“I’ve always wanted to be a multitalented triple threat.”

“When I was a little girl, I said I wanted to be like Whitney Houston: a singer, an actress. I wanted to be able to dance. I studied dance, piano, and voice. The fact that I’ve gotten a chance to do all of my passions is such a blessing.”

However, the official bad girl energy Naughton brought to her 2009 role of “Lil’ Kim” in the Notorious B.I.G. biopic Notorious is what solidified her starlet status and made everyone from adolescent to adult take notice:

“A lot of people once knew me as just the girl from 3LW, then I had to reinvent that. For a long time people called me Lil’ Kim as I would walk down the street. Even now people call me Tasha—and they genuinely are committed. I just feel really fortunate that [unique Black female] characters are making an imprint within the culture.”

Naughton says in the future, she’s interested in creating more roles for people of color and even directing:

“One thing I would love to do is direct.”

“I’ve been taking classes and studying directing. I want to produce and direct my own film. There are so many uplifting, powerful stories within our culture that I want to tell.”

These days the East Orange, NJ native is knee-deep in her first year of motherhood, giving birth to daughter, Zuri last July. Naughton shares she learned she was expecting while ironically filming scenes in which her character Tasha faces the untimely death of her on-screen daughter, Raina. The 34-year-old reveals that in playing Tasha, she’s found power in her own motherhood:

“Playing this role just gives me the confidence to be a woman. It’s the first role that has given me the chance to explore motherhood even before I was a mom.”

“Life is really interesting in so many different ways. As an artist, I was creating this emotionally devastating situation with losing a daughter, but at the same time that I was shooting the scenes about the death of Raina, I was pulling from the fact that I was carrying a life. Choosing to have my beautiful daughter Zuri was the best decision I could have ever made. Not for my career but for me as a human. I’m a better woman; I’m a better person because of her.”

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