“Queen Sugar” was a big hit during the 2016 television series run. A big reason for that was the bona fide acting chops of actress Rutina Wesley being displayed to the world. The American drama series centers around three siblings who ultimately come together to claim an inheritance, due to an untimely death of the family’s patriarch.
Created, executive produced and directed by Academy Award nominee Ava Duvernay, “Queen Sugar” gives viewers a much fuller look at the talented Wesley, known for her role (Tara Thorton) in HBO’s “True Blood.”
Wesley has continued to carve out her thespian lane with her role as Nova Bordelon, who tackles racism, homosexuality and activism, all the while her character practices a form of alternative healing. Wesley has been so good in playing her character in “Queen Sugar,” she was nominated for an NAACP Image Award in the Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series category.
Reporter Stephanie Richardson caught up with Ms. Wesley on the red carpet at the 48th NAACP Image Awards Nominees’ Luncheon that took place at the Loews Hollywood Hotel and spoke with her about her character on “Queen Sugar.”
Stephanie Richardson: When will the show be returning?
Rutina Wesley: “June this year.”
Stephanie Richardson: That is far away. Do we have to wait that long?
Rutina Wesley: “Well, it could have been September.”
Stephanie Richardson: So, tell us how did it all come together in you getting picked to represent Nova Bordelon?
Rutina Wesley: “Nova is great. She’s great. I just auditioned and Ava she really liked what I did and (how I embodied this character. She called me the day after my birthday, and offered me the role.”
Stephanie Richardson: Have you ever taken on a character where you had to play both sides of the aisle-being in a relationship with a man and a woman? Had you ever done anything like that?
Rutina Wesley: “She’s a beautiful mess. She’s human. That’s what I love about her. You can’t figure her out. It was beautiful to take that type of journey with that kind of character alongside Dawn-Lyen Gardner, because we know each other. We’re sisters in real life. The sisterhood started in school, so when you see us get ugly we can really go there. We love each other and she’s got my back.”
Stephanie Richardson: Did you have any input coming up with the topics that was raised on the show?
Rutina Wesley: “No, no not at all. That’s all Ava and our wonderful writers. They would just keeping up with something. I would look at the script and be like, “Oh” and “Oh and Nova does this and that. Okay.”
Stephanie Richardson: “Did you ever challenge any of the topics with the way you think and feel and the way the character was to be portrayed?
Rutina Wesley: “No, not really. I never challenged anything or complained because I was always happy. It was a really thought out story as a woman, so I was like bring it; she’s messy. Bring it.”