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The Power's Auli’i Cravalho, Halle Bush & Edwina Findley On The Allure & And Perils Of Power

The Power's Auli’i, Halle & Edwina On The Allure & And Perils Of Power

Auli’i Cravalho, Halle Bush & Edwina Findley
Courtesy of Prime Video

PRIDE sat down with the stars of the dystopian series about how it proposes a brave and complicated new world.


If you’ve ever stayed out just a little too late and caught yourself walking faster to try to beat sundown, rushed to your car in a parking lot because you think you may have heard footsteps, or been cornered by someone bigger and stronger than you are, then The Power is going to hit hard.

The series, which is based on the book of the same name by writer Naomi Alderman, presents an alternate world where the most powerful and soon-to-be-feared being is a teenage girl. The entire world and its power structure are toppled when young women everywhere suddenly begin unlocking a literal power that was in them all along. It also causes them to conduct electricity in their hands and inflict damage and pain on anyone who would seek to harm or oppress them.

Courtesy of Prime Video

The series follows women from around the world — and a few men — who are facing this brave new world with all its complexity. The almost-overnight shift in power dynamics often comes with a high cost, paid in bloodshed.

That being said, if given the opportunity, Auli’i Cravalho, who stars as Jos Cleary-Lopez, daughter to Mayor Margot Cleary-Lopez (Toni Collette), sees the appeal and the allure of having that kind of power. In one particularly poignant moment of the series, her character speaks about having the discovery that she no longer has to live in fear, and, as a result, that her life will be very different than that of every other young woman who has come before her. It's a scene that was very meaningful for the actor.

Courtesy of Prime Video

“I remember that [scene] being very near to an audition scene that I did at the very beginning of this process. And I also remember rewriting it because I wanted it to feel so very personal to me,” Cravalho recalls to PRIDE. “As women, we teach other young women to be careful, 'please text me when you get home. Please, when you walk alone at night, have your pepper spray, or at the very least, if it is your last chance, put your keys between your fingers. Check under your car, check behind your car, and don't allow men to help you to your car with your groceries. Do not answer the door.' It makes me scared thinking about it.”

Courtesy of Prime Video

“So, to imagine a world where I feel safe, that I have a power in me that cannot be taken away…it was a relief to invest in a character who would grow up differently than I had,” she shares.

Halle Bush, who plays Allie Montgomery, a young woman who has bounced around abusive foster homes before she can finally liberate herself by dispatching her abuser, also wouldn't think twice about taking the power. “In a heartbeat,” Bush tells PRIDE. “I would take it so fast.”

She recalls telling her brother about the role and how in this world women can defend themselves physically in a new way and how her brother reacted to that idea. “His eyes shot up because he was just like, 'Wait, so all women could electrocute people?'” she recounts.

Courtesy of Prime Video

“And then I was like, 'yeah, yeah. What would you think?' And he said, 'I would be completely at peace of mind knowing you have this power because you're safe.' And him as being my brother — oh, my gosh, I don't want to cry — he's just always worried about me, my little sister and my mom, my cousins, because this world is dangerous, as a woman and then as a woman of color.”

For both Bush and her brother, it would offer them so much peace to know she could protect herself “no matter what.”

The appeal is obvious, but the show delves a little deeper to highlight the nuances. Specifically the danger that these women now face at the hands of men who become increasingly violent when their place in the world, and its power structure, is threatened.

Courtesy of Prime Video

Mayor Cleary-Lopez quickly becomes a target of violent men’s groups who threaten her and her children when she becomes the face of the movement — a detail that feels all too real. For Edwina Findley, who plays the mayor’s assistant Helen, this is complicated even further by the dynamics of race.

It was the nuance that struck Findley and made her want to dig deeper into the character. “I started thinking about what were Helen's aspirations. It seems like she's always kind of played that supportive role and I wanted to explore that,” she tells PRIDE. “I wondered, does she want to be more out front? Or is it that she knows that the culture wasn't quite ready for that yet? So she invested herself in promoting others and making sure that they are successfully out front.”

This is complicated when she suddenly has access to a whole new kind of literal power — and what taking or rejecting it means for her. “Mayor Cleary-Lopez asks Helen, 'do you want the power? Do you want it?'” But it’s not that simple, explains Findley. “She's like, 'I don't need two targets on my back, I’ve already got one. I don't need another one.' And that's a real sentiment for African American women. I mean, we're walking through the world in a different way. I do think that this power is being wielded in the story, for those who are from different disenfranchised populations.”

Watch PRIDE's full interview with Auli’i Cravalho, Halle Bush & Edwina Findley below!

“That is a question right?” she continues. “How does having this affect me, especially on a political and professional side? Where again, as an African American woman, you learn how to code switch, you learn how to be acceptable in different events? And will I now be unaccepted?”

Therein lies the strength of The Power: It's not afraid to get messy and complicated while also offering a vision of a different world — one that perhaps women, queer people, and other marginalized groups could create by tapping into the power they already have.

The Power premieres March 31 on Prime Video. Watch the trailer below.

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