While interviewing Naturi Naughton at her intimate baby shower in the lower level of Dazzler Brooklyn, her boyfriend's cousin interrupted us. "I love you," the cousin said to her after showing us pictures from the surprise all-white 30th birthday party Naughton threw for Ben.
"I'm sorry," Naughton said after the interruption, "I've got the most turned up baby shower."
Naughton, 32, has been in front of the cameras since childhood. Singing since the age of five, many of us were first introduced to the talent as a member of 3LW in the early 2000s. Since then, she's gone on the have a fruitful acting career in Notorious, Mad Men, The Client List and, now, as Tasha St. Patrick on Starz's Power.
So here we were. Naughton, seven months pregnant, dancing to Soca (Ben is Bajan and Naughton's father is from Saint Croix) music in a dimly-lit room filled with family and close friends.
"I'm so nervous and excited," she confessed while enjoying a plate of rice-n-peas, macaroni and cheese, and well-seasoned chicken. "The advice I've been given, is that you were meant to do this. Even though I'm scared, I was meant to do this. I feel blessed and I'm more excited than nervous."
Naughton met Ben three years ago when she first moved to Brooklyn to film her hit TV show. He was her real estate agent and found her place in the city. They went out to have a meal at Madiba, a local well-known restaurant in the Ft. Greene neighborhood, and the rest was history.
"Family is hugely important to me, because like I said, it takes a village to raise a child. That's my theme. That's how I really feel about life. We all need to be a part of bringing a child into the world. It's not just one person or one couple. We can all help bring that child up with love."
Underneath a big gold sign that read "It Takes A Village" were adorable cupcakes, cookies and other sweets decorated with giraffes and palm leaves. Before the baby shower games started that involved a dance and singing competition, were African dancers introduced by Naughton's best friend since childhood, Jennifer, who helped plan the event. And in addition to the traditional Caribbean food, there were two bars in the room of 50 or so people, serving tropical punches.
The only celebrities in attendance were Nicole Beharie, Regina King, Hosea Chanchez, Russell Hornsby and La La Anthony— who all truly came out to show love and not take attention off the beauty draped in white lace.
Naughton also had an exclusive announcement for us.
"It's official, it's a girl. I haven't told anybody," she said. "I feel her jumping and moving and winding [to the Soca music]."
Adding, "I want to give my daughter that Caribbean influence. But also just being a Black girl in this country, I want her to grow up with culture and confidence, and with love. My parents were hugely influential with me, so everything they gave to me, I want to pass on to her."