Kofi Siriboe, Rutina Wesley, and Dawn-Lyen Gardner discuss pain & healing of ‘Queen Sugar’

Season 4 of 'Queen Sugar' premieres tonight on OWN.

Queen Sugar
OWN

It’s finally time for Queen Sugar to return to OWN and we can’t wait to see what the Bordelon family has in store for us this time around. TheGrio caught up with Kofi Siriboe, Dawn-Lyen Gardner, and Rutina Wesley to find out how they feel about their character’s journeys and the emotional toll it takes to play them.

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According to the official description, we know that season 4 will center on the release of Nova’s tell-all memoir, and the havoc is wreaks on her family.

According to Rutina Wesley, Nova’s intentions are honorable, even if her method seems to be ripping her family apart.

“The truth can sometimes be healing for people but whether or not they’re ready to face that truth and are ready to heal is sometimes a question and it’s a fine line. For Nova, I think in her heart, her intentions are good. She thinks it can help the community and help others but I don’t know that she totally thinks through the reactions that her family may have to it,” she says. “It’s a lesson for her. Your truth is not someone else’s truth who has ownership in the story. I’m hoping people see the beauty in that and how love can sometimes conquer pain.” 

WATCH: Cast members Rutina Wesley, Kofi Siriboe, and Dawn-Lyen Gardner on the impact of ‘Queen Sugar’

Dawn-Lyen Gardner says she relates this season’s storyline to the broader issue of “secrets” within the Black community.

” I think it’s complicated because dealing with secrets can happen personally on an individual level it can happen within a family and then it can happen publicly. And those three arenas are all very different. I think part of what the writers wanted to do this year was to test the limits of loyalty and bond and where love can move beyond the trail; where love can move beyond the experience of being wronged. How far can push that question? I think in terms of the conversation on secrets in the black community and the resistance to dealing with and airing what we are dealing with; I think it’s an important thing to try to press on and to push,” she says.

“I think that’s a big part of what Nova does and that’s what she represents in the storyline. She’s that force that’s asking us to redefine our values around this. To really allow it to potentially transform us and the resistance I think is both cultural and very human.”

She also revealed that her character (Charley Bordelon) will finally have a few moments of peace, even if they are short-lived.

“It has felt like it has felt like every year the devastation increases. It has been a lot to walk through. My body has kept it really stored somewhere because at the end of the day these stories aren’t fantastical. They’re very believably real and our bodies know them. So it’s been really wonderful to enter this season in a very different place. For the first time, we see her settle into her life and we see her happy. You see her exploring a new relationship; someone who’s very very free of the drama of everything else and everyone else. I too, have enjoyed and appreciated her evolution since season one. I didn’t see it coming and I am so grateful and privileged to be playing it because you’re watching a woman really evolve from the meat of the meat. And you’re watching her understand her own betterment is completely tied to the liberation and freedom and upliftment and justice of a larger community. That’s a story that you don’t see unpacked. It’s not just a straight line where all of a sudden she gets it. It has a ton of costs. It has been one of the greatest gifts of my life to walk that journey to be walking that journey.”

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Kofi Siriboe credits Queen Sugar for creating a safe space that inspires viewers to discuss issues they’re contending with in real life.

“There’s a lack of  safe spaces for us to reveal our trauma and transform and talk about what we’ve been through and just get to a place of peace. I feel like if there were more spaces that were curated for us and if we had more access to resources you wouldn’t feel the need to internalize everything and live with that weight and that baggage. The few of us who have the privilege and platform and the resources to share access to those spaces,  I challenge us to do that,” he says. “I believe that is what Ava is doing with Queen Sugar. It’s a safe space that we even get to sit here and talk about these things and broadcast it to our communities and hopefully find healing through that. So I just think we need more space the safe spaces that are specific to us. The more we create the space for it the more the more room there is for expansion.” 

Check out the extended trailer:

Queen Sugar returns to OWN June 12 at 9/c.