Sunday, June 16, 2019

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Erica Page Expects 'Ambitions' to Grab Your Attention Right Away

Ambitions premieres on Tuesday, June 18 at 10 p.m. ET on OWN. Erica Page stars as Bella (Tru) Trujillo, Atlanta's newest and trendiest fashion designer. She's the exclusive dress designer for First Lady Stephanie Lancaster (Robin Givens) but has set her sights much higher.

We Love Soaps traveled to Atlanta in April to speak with the cast about the highly-anticipated new drama. Check out what Page had to say in our exclusive interview below.

WE LOVE SOAPS: What was your first reaction when you read the script for Ambitions? What stood out to you?
ERICA PAGE: I was really excited to play Bella. Brely [Evans, who plays Rondell Lancaster] and I actually worked on a show together right before this (Last Call). It was a fun and sassy role. Before that, I kept getting roles that were like the “frumpy nurse” or the “reporter.” It was the first role that I was sexy and fashionable. When I would watch my most recent roles, I would watch the scenes and think to myself “that doesn’t even look like me.” As I learned more about Bella, I relate to her in so many ways as far as her upbringing, not knowing her biological father--I didn’t in real life till I was older. So I connected with her in a lot ways.

WE LOVE SOAPS: Tell us about your character and what we can expect to see with your character as the series progresses.
ERICA PAGE: I talked to the writers so I knew Bella as a person, and then I know apart from what the writers tell us and the character choices we make as an actor. I already knew that Bella is a good person. Yes, she does some really stupid things and makes impulsive decisions that hurt people, but at the end of the day it all comes down to her baby and her company. She came from nothing and wants to make something of herself. She’s determined to make that happen and wants to be able to provide for her baby what she wasn’t able to have growing up. Bella is going to do whatever it takes to make that happen. Yes, she does hurt people along the way but especially as time goes you’re going to see that Bella does have remorse and feels bad. In the first few episodes, she seems like a savage. You’ll see that filters come off and she is a “good person” and has feelings. She’s not just doing this because she is a gold digger or all about herself. There’s meaning and depth underneath all of it for sure.

WE LOVE SOAPS: What was your most memorable moment so far on set off screen?
ERICA PAGE: It was really life changing. [Brely and I] had a promo shoot for our last show on a Tuesday and then filming for Ambitions started on that Wednesday. Even to the date everything worked out perfect for us.

Kendrick [Cross], who plays Titus, has been a good friend of mine for years. We used to tape each others auditions. Literally, just a few months ago we were taping an audition--I would always call him superstar and he would call me the same. I would always say “you’re about to blow up.” He stayed booking. I would book here and there but Kendrick was a booker. We both got this opportunity at the same time. Now we’re all sitting at the same table read together.

WE LOVE SOAPS: What is it like working for the OWN network?
In 2017, I had a horrible year because I was depressed. I almost quit acting. I went through a really rough time. I went out and got a regular job. I was going to do mortgages. Within the first week, I got multiple signs from God. I’m a strong believer in God. I got signs that “you can’t quit this dream yet and you have to keep pushing.” So, I quit the job (laughs) and I just said I’ll figure it out. After that, I started booking here and there. It was a consistent year with jobs and then I ended up getting a role on Last Call, which was a show I did right before this and then I booked Ambitions. That year in particular on my vision board, I had a series regular, bookings back to back, lead roles but I also had Will Packer Productions and Oprah. I knew I wanted to work with Will Packer because I love his work, his projects and just love him as a person and, well, I have Oprah on there because...well, it’s Oprah! I ended up booking Ambitions which is produced by Will Packer and it’s on the Oprah Winfrey Network.

WE LOVE SOAPS: How would you describe this season to audiences? Why is this a must-watch show?
ERICA PAGE: It’s great because it has a “little bit of this” and a “little bit of that.” It’s sexy, powerful, intriguing and it’s going to really reel you in. I think it’s going to get people’s attention right away.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Lovers, competitors, enemies, traitors, scandal—and that's just for starters! Don't miss the premiere of Ambitions on Tuesday, June 18 at 10 p.m. ET, only on OWN. Check out the Ambitions trailer below.

Shruti Sadana is a bicoastal producer and actor. She attended SUNY Purchase where she earned her B.A. in Cinema Studies. After graduating, she interned at EUE/Screen Gems in New York City and assisted with high profile events for Gen Art. She also worked on several productions behind the scenes and in front of the camera.  She recently produced the transgender rights short film ​Denim,​ starring Jazz Jennings. She also produces content and interviews celebrities for the online magazine, ​Hey Beauti. Shruti has worked on several cover photo shoots for their online platform with some of the industry’s most well known talent: Steve Howey (​Shameless, Reba), ​ Sarah Shahi ​(The L Word, Person of Interest, Reverie), ​ Emmanuelle Chriqui ​(Entourage, The Passage, You Don’t Mess with Zohan, Shut Eye). ​ Her interviews include Priyanka Chopra, Megan Fox, Malin Akerman and many more. Her positive nature, work ethic, and keen sense of understanding people on a deeper level has lead her to build strong relationships in the industry.

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