As the only woman in the cutthroat Tejada family other than her mother, this season of Power Book II: Ghost sees LaToya Tonodeo’s Diana trying to balance taking on more of a leadership role in the family business while maintaining a blue-collar image.
Typically sheltered and underestimated, Diana is showing her clan how much she has to offer and standing in her power.
The role is a dream for Tonodeo, who prior to being cast was taking any part she could get her hand on. Now, the opportunities are endless. But with a series like the Starz hit, unless her character is killed off, she’s sure to have a good few years in the role.
She told Shadow and Act in a recent interview that she was on a constant grind before landing her breakout role. When she saw that it was a spinoff of Power, she knew she had to go above and beyond to prove she was worthy of the part. Her audition tape was raw and to play on the Tejada’s culture, she read her line partially in Spanish. The commitment paid off and fans are enjoying seeing her character’s growth.
Aside from not coming from a family involved in organized crime, Tonodeo says it’s not difficult for her to tap into the essence of Diana. “We are both very much ambitious,” she said. “Very strategic, smart – book and street smart – I love how layered she is. I remember first getting the chance to audition and reading the breakdown of the character and I was like, Wow, she’s the sister. She’s the only girl out of all the boys, so she still has to have some strength. She’s very much under her mother’s thumb – we all are. I just love that [dynamic]. I don’t have a whole bunch of brothers, but I have best friends and cousins who are boys, so I get that.”
Viewers are dying to see whether or not Diana and Tariq St. Patrick end up together. It feels like a natural progression. But as the audience is starting to see, Diana is teetering between whether or not she wants to continue on the path her family has laid out or go more the straight-laced route. Both she and Tariq have the option to do either and their chemistry is undeniable. Tonodeo says she could see their relationship blossom either way.
“I would be open to it…it would be nice to see how Diana could maneuver with another love interest, even if that’s a possibility considering that Monet does not play,” she admits. “I don’t even know if that’s even possible but it would be nice to see. I wouldn’t be opposed to it.”
The show was recently renewed for a third season and Tonodeo is looking forward for what’s next to come. She hopes Diana continues to find her voice and potentially take over the business. But you never know what’s in store with the writers on the show who love to throw in the unexpected.
Watch the full interview where Tonodeo talks about how playing Diana makes her want to discover her own heritage, being in such a star-studded cast and more.
Catch the series every Sunday night on Starz.