EDITOR’s NOTE: TheGrio sat down with actress Lauren London a few weeks ago to discuss her new role in BET’s upcoming drama series Games Divas Play. This interview was conducted well before her fiancee, Nipsey Hussle was murdered in Los Angeles. At the time, London was glowing when she walked into the room. She was a woman with a purpose, happy to dish about all of the great things that were finally falling into place in her life. With this latest news, we send our deepest condolences to London, her children and the rest of Nipsey Hussle’s family.
In Games People Play, Lauren London stars as Vanessa King, a loyal yet skeptical wife who married her high school sweetheart as he was being drafted into the nation’s premiere professional basketball league. Her lifestyle changed overnight as they transitioned from college sweethearts to a power couple astride a world of money, easy sex, and glamour.
London has been a familiar face for years, starring in classics like ATL and Madea’s Big Happy Family. Despite the familiarity, this seems like a new version of the star who usually played teenaged roles with little depth. She’s sure of herself, comfortable in her skin, and exudes a confidence she attributes to “self-awareness” that’s perceivable to anyone around her.
“I feel no fear. Usually I do, but no, not this time, Usually the roles I’ve done before like really fun and sassy and you know kind of surface roles,” she says. “This was a broken wife and a woman and I feel like I’m 34, I have kids and I have lived some life that I can put into this into a woman.”
London also noted the changing landscape of the entertainment industry and how special the opportunity was to work on a show created and produced by Black women.
“When I read the script it was a very easy read. It was like oh ‘OK, somebody gets it and somebody is speaking with a familiar voice and I felt that,” she says.
“I’m soaking it all up. I think the times are changing in general with content. As a woman or as a Black woman you can probably write your own, shoot your own, direct your own, and act in your own project and filter the actual piece through platforms that are available for us. I think it’s way more tangible now and I think that is because the way we are receiving entertainment is much different now.”
Another thing that’s different is the actress’ real life role as a mother to Cameron and the 2-year-old son she shares with Nipsey Hussle.
“Being a mother has changed my outlook on life and I think that naturally filters in to my work,” she admits before explaining how different it is for her to be one of the veteran actors on the set.
“This is the first time I’m on set with co-stars and I’m older than. This is a first. I was usually the youngest. I think that would be a part of my role here outside of us working together. Being a Black woman working with these Black women, I think that I should be in a position of loving leadership.”
The sexy new drama also stars Sarunas J. Jackson, Parker McKenna
Games People Play premieres April 23 at 10pm on BET.