Lela Loren Discusses Giving Up “Power,” Her Role On “Altered Carbon” + Returning To Starz

Lela LorenPhoto Credit: Ungano + Agriodimas

Lela Loren may have finally said goodbye to her hit Starz series, “Power”, but she certainly isn’t letting moss grown under her feet. The brunette beauty can be seen on the second season of Netflix’s science fiction series “Altered Carbon,” which premiered on Thursday, Feb. 27; she’ll also appear in the upcoming third season of yet another Starz series, “American Gods.”  Here, the NY-based actress shares how hard it was to give up “Power” and dishes on the projects she’s got in the pipeline for 2020.

Lela LorenPhoto Credit: Ungano + Agriodimas

Tell us more about your character, Danica Harlan, and your role in “Altered Carbon” season 2. What was it like to step in to her shoes?

Danica is the newly instated governor of Harlan’s world due to her father’s mysterious disappearance. While she’s often doubted by her senior council, Danica is determined to free Harlan’s world not just from war, but also from the Protectorate’s exploitation of their most precious resource, alloy. Stepping into Danica was a bit like stepping onto a tight rope – in fabulous heels.

From the episodes I’ve watched, Danica wears some amazing clothes. Did you have a favorite look and did the wardrobe help you get into character?

I loved every single one of Danica’s looks. I honestly can’t choose. Our costume designer, Cynthia Summers, created such a beautiful austere, unfettered elegance that helped me embody Danica’s power and refinement, while still remaining feminine. The clothes were everything.

Lela LorenPhoto Credit: Ungano + Agriodimas

Tell us about some fun moments from working with the “Altered Carbon” cast? Who did you work with most often on set?

Chris Conner, who plays Poe, throws a fabulous BBQ, and watching the feats our stunt actors perform was incredible. Anthony Mackie saved me many times, by nudging me over until I hit my mark, but Torben Liebrecht, who plays Colonel Carrera, was definitely who I worked with and hung out with the most. Don’t let Carrera’s steely gaze fool you. Torben is a big softy with a penchant for verbal puns and steak and if you want tips on how to get shredded… he’s your guy.

What’s a memory from set that’s stayed with you.

I never had the opportunity to do any green screens or special effects acting before “Altered Carbon”, and while it’s challenging because you must solely rely on your imagination, the technology is amazing.

Lela LorenPhoto Credit: Ungano + Agriodimas

I’ve read that you were a biology major. How did this jump to a career in acting? Do you find yourself using your scientific background in the parts you play?

I was trying to knock out a Fine Arts requirement in college, and there had been a mistake on the enrollment for one of my classes. Instead of enrolling in an art class, I was enrolled in a beginning acting class. My science background comes into play with acting through memorization. There is a lot of memorization in both science and acting, and in the curiosity I approach a character. I’m relentlessly curious.

How did it feel to say goodbye to “Power”?

Saying goodbye was like leaving home in a way. I felt a bit sad to not only say goodbye to the cast and crew that had become like family over the years, but also to say goodbye to Angela Valdes, whom I love deeply. It’s one of the main reasons I cut my hair, to honor a closing of a chapter. And I simultaneously felt excited and curious to see what new project, character, and opportunity was waiting around the corner. “Power” will always be my cornerstone, my foundation. It’s the show that gave me my first ‘yes’ in a real way. My first chance to prove myself as a ‘player’ in this crazy industry that I love. And for that, I will forever be grateful. Hopefully our loyal “Power” fans will embrace some of these new characters I play to come.

Lela LorenPhoto Credit: Ungano + Agriodimas

What’s next for you?

I’ll be in the upcoming season of “American Gods” on Starz playing a character named Marguerite Olsen. She’s quite different than both Angela Valdes and Danica Harlan. I’m having a blast.

What to you is the greatest luxury in life and why?

Honestly the greatest luxury in life for me, is the luxury of choice. To feel like I can choose not just what I want, but also how I’d like to go about it. I think I’ve always had a strong need for autonomy and “choice” is a critical ingredient.

Lela LorenPhoto Credit: Ungano + Agriodimas