Lauren London is headed to the small screen in BET’s new guilty pleasure that has her playing the wife of a newly-drafted professional basketball player.
Games People Play is set to launch later this month, following the series finale of the BET hit, Being Mary Jane.
And as London told The Grio before the tragic murder of her longtime partner Nipsey Hussle over the weekend, she’s ready to take on more mature roles.
“Usually the roles I’ve done before [were] like really fun and sassy and you know kind of surface roles,” she said. “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.”
London plays Vanessa King, “a loyal yet skeptical wife who married her high school sweetheart,” played by Insecure’s Sarunas J. Jackson, “as he was being drafted into the nation’s premiere professional basketball league,” BET describes the show. “Her lifestyle changed overnight as they went from college sweethearts to a power couple astride a world of money, easy sex, and glamour.”
The show’s cast also includes Parker McKenna Posey and Karen Obilom, who play an ambitious actress and journalist.
“This is the first time I’m on set with co-stars [that] I’m older than. This is a first,” London said. “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.”
Based on Games Divas Play, the book by former ESSENCE editor-in-chief Angela Burt-Murray, the show is executive produced by Burt-Murray, Tracey Edmonds, Vanessa Middleton and Kim Newton. Middleton and Newton also serve as co-showrunners for the series.
The show premieres at a special time on April 23 at 10 p.m. ET/PT, following the series finale of Being Mary Jane. Starting April 30, the series will resume at its regular time at 9 p.m. ET/PT.