Parker McKenna Posey is all grown up now! You might remember the star from her hilariously cute role as “Kady Kyle” on the American sitcom, My Wife and Kids. Well, time certainly flies by, and Posey is still super booked and busy with her bustling acting career.
Currently, the 26-year-old actress stars as “Laila” on the scandalous hit BET series Games People Play. Season two of the show has exposed more insight into Laila’s difficult battle with overcoming sexual assault–all while struggling to navigate her newfound success as an actress.
With the season finale of Games People Play approaching, MADAMENOIRE caught up with Posey to chat about how she prepared for the difficult storyline behind Laila this season, filming under the pressure of a never-ending pandemic, and to hear more about her journey as a first-time mom.
Congrats on becoming a first-time mommy! How’s motherhood treating you?
Motherhood is just a dream. It’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me. Just being able to experience all of these things and see life through her eyes, it’s just the greatest blessing.
What a challenging time it must be to raise a newborn during the pandemic!
Yeah, it’s definitely not something that I expected to happen, but in a weird way, it was a blessing in disguise. I was fortunate enough to spend more time with her now. We had a little hiatus from the show, so I got to enjoy my pregnancy. Obviously, COVID has affected our world and it will never be the same.
Did you and the team film bits of season two during the pandemic? How was that process?
We had a longer break than expected because when COVID first hit, it was very confusing. Nobody really knew what was going on at all so it was best we all stay safe and stay quarantined away from each other. When it was time to get back to season 2, unfortunately, COVID was still out here kicking our butts. So, it was a very interesting season being on set with face shields and masks and not really being able to tell anybody’s facial expressions behind the masks.
Actually, during our little wrap party that we had, it was funny to see certain people with their masks down for the first time after literally spending months and months working with everyone. It was kind of like a running joke on set. It threw a little damper on our plans. Some of us were frustrated with all the testing we had to do. We got tested at least three times a week every other day. Even on our off days, we would have to go in, and it was a lot, but it was worth it. We were just ready to give the fans what they’ve literally been beating down our doors for almost a year.
How did you prepare for some of the complex parts of Laila’s character? This season, we finally find out about her past trauma with sexual assault and you really brought that difficult story to life in such a vulnerable way.
Just being a woman is very very crazy, especially in this career field. It has its ups and downs. So it’s just been an honor to kinda show what really goes on in our world. Even with the auditioning process. I really enjoy being able to show you guys what goes on in a struggling actress’ world. This season has been nice for me to be able to show Laila‘s journey to heal and to show why she was the way that she was in season one and see how that’s transitioned into season two. It’s just been fun to stand up for women. It’s also nice to see Amber’s perspective where she wants to put her foot down and stand up tall and speak out. Then you get Laila’s perspective where she doesn’t know what’s going to happen if she stands in her truth. She doesn’t know how it’s going to affect her life. She needs to advance in her career, but she also wants to heal from her past. It was interesting navigating it. I’ve gone through some things in my life as well, so I had to kind of deal with my trauma this season and use the stuff that I’ve gone through to help shine through Laila.
We were really moved by a scene from Episode 9, in particular, where Laila finally comes forward about her assault and a pesky reporter asks why it took her so long. Laila says something to the effect of, “you have no right to question how long it takes for me to process my pain.” Something about that scene really stuck with us.
Right! That’s a common theme throughout this season that I love, not only with my character, but you’ve also been able to see Sauraunus’ character in therapy. I think it’s something that’s really important for Black people as a whole to see that it’s okay to deal with our hurt, it’s okay to deal with our trauma, it’s okay to go to therapy. It’s okay to address these things- and it doesn’t matter. Like Laila says, it doesn’t matter how long it takes you. It’s just about standing in your truth and making those steps to the path of healing.
Now, with Laila coming forward about her trauma, there seem to be challenges ahead for her. Any hints you can drop in regards to what’s next for Laila?
We all have consequences for our actions, but I don’t know. I’m excited. I don’t want to give away too much. It will be nice to see Laila be Laila James and not be stuck in the shadow of “Golden Goddess LA.” All of that, that’s a facade. It was nice to see her healed, standing in her truth and standing up for other women. You know, it was so funny because everyone hated Laila in season 1. Everyone thought she was just this homewrecker and she didn’t really have any sense of direction. I’m excited to see where she goes next because I think now, she’s finally accepted who she really is.
So many people love commenting on social media during the show. Do you follow along to see what fans are saying and to check out their reactions?
I don’t do the Twitter thing. I’m not really a social media person anymore. I don’t know why. I think I’m getting old. I can’t keep up with all these new trends and stuff so, I don’t follow along on Twitter. I know my castmates do and we’re constantly sharing things with one each other. We have a group text. I’m more on Instagram and I’m constantly reposting stories and engaging with the fans through DM and really just getting feedback from everybody. It’s been nice this season to have more people on Laila’s side. Also, women have reached out to me and just touched my heart in so many ways, feeling comfortable enough to come to me with their stories, sharing the things that they’ve gone through and the adversities they’ve faced throughout their career and just as Black women.
I love to see you doing it all, a successful actress, a wife, and now a mom because so often are we superwomen told we can’t have it all and you’re a living testament that we absolutely can.
Yes! Tracy’s one of my inspirations, trust me. If it wasn’t for her then I don’t think any of the women on the show would be so strong. She’s just a powerhouse when she’s onset. She’s always making sure that we’re ok, a woman who has a billion things going on. After having a baby, I didn’t feel my sexiest or at my best, and that’s kind of what my character portrays, the sexiness on the show, so it was nice to have an ally on set. She happens to also be my boss and that’s not always how it’s going to be in the workspace. So I just love Tracey so much. She just like complete goals!
So what’s next outside of Games People Play? Are you working on any new projects or movies?
I’m actually on another show called A House Divided that you can catch on Amazon Prime. We will be filming our next season sometime in 2022, so I’m looking forward to that and getting back to my cast with my other little family. I’m also starting a new business venture, kind of in the health and wellness industry. That’s what I’ve spent my time over here working on. Besides being a mommy, I really am just enjoying this new chapter in my life.
Peep an official Games People Play Season 2 trailer below: