What Naturi Naughton Learned About Love From Playing Ride Or Die Queen Tasha On ‘Power’

For three seasons, Power has had audiences enthralled each week beginning the moment the show’s opening theme song drops.

From the tense conflicts over money and drugs to that crazy little love triangle between main characters, Ghost, his wife Tasha and his high school sweetheart-turned-mistress Angela, fans have been engrossed and at odds over whether #TeamTasha or #TeamAngela will prevail.

Actress Naturi Naughton, who plays Tasha on the hit drama, sat down with ESSENCE to talk about just how much of a rider her character truly is and the love and life lesson she learned from her powerful portrayal of Mrs.St. Patrick. 

What do you think are Tasha’s most ride or die moments on the show three seasons in?

I would say one of the highest on my list for her ride-or-die moments would probably be in season 2, episode 6 when she’s in the car and she tells Ghost in regards to Angela possibly arresting him and taking him away, “You’re going to keep f-ing her. Keep f-ing that b***h until I tell you to stop.” I think, even when I read that I said to Courtney (Kemp, the show’s creator), “Dang, she’s so gangster.” She’s really a ride-or-die in a sense that she was not willing to sacrifice her family, him going to jail, her going to jail, because of whatever is going on with the outside relationship of he and Angela. 

Naturi Naughton’s Evolution from 3LW to Power

I also think the way she is with Tommy is very brother and sister. They’re really connected and she always tries to support him, even though she didn’t like Holly and she was kind of like, “I know she stole my earrings and I know she’s trifling and I know you don’t need to be with her, but I still love you. I’m going to let you do you.” 

Tasha’s always been the mother who rides for her kids, that’s another key moment for me. She’s always going to the school fighting for her kids. Season 1, it was fighting for her daughter to be the first black Annie. When Tasha told the principal this season she wasn’t going to let Tariq get kicked out because he brought a gun to school. She’s done some things that aren’t necessarily, you know, good, but she’s a good mother, a ride or die wife, and I think a woman who fights for her family. Whether you agree with her morals or not, that’s the kind of woman she is. 

Is there anything from Ghost and Tasha’s relationship that you learned that you should or should not do in your own personal life?

I think one thing I’ve learned from Tasha is becoming more independent. I’m not married yet, but I can imagine how important it must be for a woman to make sure in the event that things don’t happen the way they see it, they have to learn to secure their lifestyle. Tasha’s still figuring out how to live without Ghost and really be ready for independence. Watching her and living through this character has helped me to see how strong we as women really are.

You have to be very empathic to play a character like Tasha was well as you do. She has a lot of flaws but she also has a lot of admirable qualities. What traits do you think you and Tasha share?

Probably Tasha’s outspokenness—she’s a pretty fierce in her personality and she’s not afraid to speak her mind. Probably one of the reasons I got this character is because I’m very opinionated, have a strong personality, and Tasha can rub you the wrong way sometimes. I kind of understand that. Everybody doesn’t get it but everything she does is because she cares. That’s just something that I think Naturi has as well.

Power airs on Sunday’s at 9 p.m. on Starz.