Just days before ABC premiered its new drama Queens on October 19, one of the show’s stars, Eve, announced she and husband Maximillion Cooper are expecting their first child. The news came as a welcome surprise to fans of the Philly rapper who was open about her struggle to conceive and even left her role as cohost of The Talk to focus on expanding her family. Ironically, when the prime time series costarring Brandy, Naturi Naughton and Nadine Velazquez resumed filming after a brief hiatus this summer, Eve had just found out she was pregnant.

“I hadn’t told anybody; I couldn’t,” Eve tells ESSENCE. “Also, I was just not ready and I was also like, ‘Oh my God.’ You know how in life sometimes things all happen at the same time? So I was like, ‘Oh my God, I’ve gotta leave home and I’m pregnant.'”

As scary as it was for Eve to leave London, where she resides with her husband, and return to L.A. to finish taping the series, filming with two working mothers was a big help, she says. “Honestly, it’s so nice to be on set with women who are in this business. Naturi, specifically, she had been filming Power while she was pregnant with her daughter, Zuri, and so she gave me lots of advice, and Brandy as well. Brandy, she’s such a sweetheart, I love them both.”

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Eve says she was also quick to ask her costars for parenting advice and to send her links to all things mommy, but the best part about working with the others is that they looked out for the first-time mom without her even asking. “Just being supportive of me and, also, speaking up for me, that was a big deal,” Eve says. “Sometimes on set if I was really tired, Naturi would speak up for me and so would Brandy, like, ‘C’mom guys, you know she’s pregnant.’ That was really nice to have people who understood my position.”

Check out our full interview with Eve in the video above as she gives us the rundown on her Queens character and the new music she recorded for the ABC drama.

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