Quick Take With Ptosha Storey

What were your first impressions of your alter ego? “When I was introduced to Naya, I first thought about how people make mistakes, and I wanted to be able to show that even if you’ve done something that may have not been the right decision, you can still make the decision right. I love that she’s very layered. For me, it’s been a beautiful story to commit to.”

Despite her past, it seems very important to Naya to maintain her dignity. Your thoughts? “That’s the beauty for me of playing this character, trying to find ways that make you feel sympathetic and empathetic to what has happened to her. Now, Naya has to consider this birth child and what she has gone through and is still going through, but then you have another child at home who you’ve raised, who’s the reason you still have to hold your head up. It’s such an interesting conundrum and supports who Naya is, and that’s a complicated and vibrant but troubled woman.”

From the story, you get the sense that after Naya gave birth to her twins, she was able to move on and not look back. “The reason she gave her daughters up is because she wanted to honor her parents’ wishes, but at the same time, she was okay with not raising children at that point of her life because she wanted to shine by herself. She wanted to be successful, and when Amanda comes into her life, Naya was closed off and stoic because her attitude was, ‘You can’t mess up this beautiful life that I’ve created,’ but then she later feels, ‘Wait, I have a responsibility to this child I gave birth to.’ It’s been a great conflict for her.”

How do you like working with Mishael Morgan (Amanda)? “Oh, my goodness, working with Mishael has just been amazing. She is a stellar talent. She was very welcoming, which was wonderful because coming into that environment, where people have worked together for years, could be a little trippy, but Mishael was so beautiful and kind that we just had a connection right away, as if we’ve known each other forever. Working with her on the set is so organic and she actually feels like the daughter I never had. Some of the really lovely emotional things between us happen in the moment because we are in tune with each other and I really love that.”

Then there’s your second TV daughter, Leigh-Ann Rose, who plays Imani. “The couple of times that I have worked with Leigh-Ann have been just beautiful and I look forward to more. The chemistry with the three of us is wonderful. The conflict of how a mother acts with a daughter she raised versus the daughter she doesn’t really know creates a real fire. This is causing Naya to dig in deep and find out who she really is as a mother and how can she connect with these two daughters so they can all become one family.”

If you could cast any celebrity as Naya’s husband, who would be your first choice? “Idris Elba would be great! He is a fine brother and he’s also an amazing actor, so he and Naya together would be a beautiful thing. I’ll respectfully stop there [laughs]!”