TV & Movies

Power Book II: Ghost Star Paige Audrey-Marie Hurd Explains Lauren’s Shocking Return

The Season 3 premiere brought one character back from the dead.

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Paige Hurd as Lauren Baldwin in the 'Power Book II: Ghost' Season 3 premiere

Spoilers ahead for the Power Book II: Ghost Season 3 premiere. Not many characters come back from the dead in the Powerverse, but Lauren Baldwin (Paige Audrey-Marie Hurd) has officially joined that list. In Power Book II: Ghost Season 2, Tariq (Michael Rainey Jr.) tried to keep Lauren safe after Cane (Woody McClain) found out she’d secretly recorded him as part of a drug ring investigation. After Brayden (Gianni Paolo) failed to carry out a hit on Lauren, Effie (Alix Lapri) finished the job — or so she thought. In the Season 3 premiere, family and friends mourned Lauren, but in the episode’s final moments, fans might’ve felt like they saw, well, a ghost.

As it turns out, Lauren is alive, and prosecutor Jenny Sullivan (Paton Ashbrook) is hiding her in a safe house while she builds her case against Tariq and the Tejadas. “How much longer do I have to pretend that I’m dead?” Lauren asks Jenny before the screen fades to black. Off screen, Hurd had a similar dilemma. About a year and a half ago, the 30-year-old actor read the script with Lauren’s death, but producers quickly let her know that she was actually going to survive.

“I have no idea how I kept it because I’m not a good secret-keeper,” Hurd tells Bustle, explaining that she didn’t post much on social media and had to be hidden every time she was outside while filming Season 3 in New York City. She also tweeted a farewell message to fans, and the show posted a gravestone graphic with her name on it.

Still, some viewers weren’t easily fooled and picked up a major hint that Lauren didn’t really die. “If you’re an original OG Power watcher, then you know there’s never been an offscreen death,” Hurd says, explaining how she tried to throw off fans who approached her on the street by pretending she was giving them the “inside scoop” by confirming Lauren’s death. “I’m so sorry I had to lie! There was a lot of lying over the last year and a half, and, wow, it was hard.”

Below, Hurd breaks down her character’s Season 3 twist and what’s ahead for Lauren.

As Power fans know, just because Lauren is alive doesn’t mean she’s going to stay alive. How worried should fans be for Lauren?

It can definitely be 50/50. I really feel that Brayden thinks it was handled and has no idea. So it depends on Lauren’s actions — and Jenny’s — and seeing if she stays put, if she cooperates, can get back to her family and be out of it completely, or if she ends up shaking up the room and seeing what happens. But there’s definitely going to be a lot of pressure on Brayden, probably in other areas, too, knowing in his self-conscious mind that he didn’t handle everything he was supposed to. And it’s going to be more with Effie than it would be with Tariq, because Tariq also doesn’t know.

How will Brayden and Effie’s betrayal of Tariq affect the dynamic of “the three musketeers” this season?

Effie’s character and Brayden’s character have a lot of guilt. I’m not exactly sure how their dynamic is going to play out. Lauren doesn’t really know much on that side. She gets to the place where she’s at and is kind of stuck there. But I predict that it’s going to blow up in people’s faces for sure.

Given that Lauren is hiding out with Jenny, fans might worry they won’t see too much of her this season. How often will Lauren pop up?

My prediction is that fans will be wondering what she’s going to [tell] Jenny, if anything. Honestly, outside of Season 2, she doesn’t really know much. She had no clue about anything. She started to figure it out, but she obviously trusted and loved Tariq, so I’m pretty sure she would’ve listened to whatever story he gave her. But it was too late. So now all she has is what happened to her that night, which is also a bit blurry because of her head trauma.

Effie (Alix Lapri) and Tariq (Michael Rainey Jr.) in the Power Book II: Ghost Season 3 premiere.Starz

Should Lauren survive, do you have any theories about how she could move forward with Tariq and co. after everything that’s happened?

I’m not sure. I always think about that because my biggest thing is Cane and how smart Cane is. So I have no idea how she would move forward or survive or what would be the best plot for her because I just feel like, does Cane find out eventually? You know what I mean? It all depends on who knows what and at what time. Can she get away? Can she get to her parents? There are a lot of moving pieces.

On the topic of theories, some fans think that Lauren’s brother will be introduced this season to expose the truth about her death. What is your response to that theory, and what others have you heard that you found particularly amusing?

Oh wow, I actually never heard that one. That would be really interesting if that happened and he breaks out of the home that he’s in. Like, where’d you come from? Have I heard any others? I haven’t heard anything crazy. I like to watch the comments and see what people are saying. I will say, there are some people that you would think are in the writers’ room, and then there are other people that it’s just fun to watch them try to figure it out.

What are your hopes for Lauren’s future?

Should she survive, I think Lauren should just get back to her studies and get back on track. She should probably go to therapy to figure all this trauma out and just completely remove herself. That’s what I think would work best in her favor because she doesn’t know what’s going on. And her getting into the mix, I’m not sure she would be able to survive that.

Should Lauren die for real, how would you memorialize her? What has she meant to you?

Lauren means a lot to me. I have thoroughly enjoyed being her, bringing her to life, and bringing out different elements that we probably didn’t know Lauren had. I’m always super grateful to Courtney Kemp and 50 Cent for the opportunity of being on one of my favorite shows, and such a huge show at that. She’s a character that I will keep dear to my heart. She means so much to me that when I am out and somebody just randomly screams out that name, I just look. I think it’s absolutely insane. But if you think that is my name, I’m just like, ‘Yes?’ They’re like, ‘Oh hi!’ And I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh, and by the way, my name is Paige.’

This interview was edited and condensed for clarity.

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