After playing it cool in Season 1, The Oval‘s Priscilla Owens is finally taking charge and flipping the script — and the First Lady had better watch her back.
Tonight’s episode (BET, 9/8c) brings Priscilla and Victoria together for the first time since their awkward encounter in the season premiere, which actress Taja V. Simpson credits as the moment everything changed for Priscilla.
“Priscilla was very loyal and strategic,” Simpson reminds TVLine. “She was the person in the White House who made sure everything went off without a hitch — that’s her job. And she was not expecting to see her husband coming out of that door with a hard-on. She was going up to him like, ‘Babe, I’m sorry. I know it’s been a long time, but I’m going to dress up for you and cook for you.’ And then she saw that, which took her completely out of who we knew her to be. Now she’s acting out of emotions, as opposed to being this structured person. That scene, and her reaction, was totally out of character — which is what I love.”
The notion that Sam would even consider cheating on his wife with Victoria was also incredibly out of character for him, which is part of the reason why Priscilla “wasn’t able to hold it together and wait until they got home to talk about it,” Simpson says. “She’s a mama bear. That’s the one thing you don’t do is come for me and mine. That completely broke her. Now it’s fair game, like, OK, this is what we’re doing. I see you, and I raise you.”
And make no mistake, Simpson is relishing every second of Priscilla and Victoria’s new “tit for tat” dynamic. “She may get one up, and then I may get one up. But [Victoria] is always pushing the boundaries. I love working with Kron. We have some scenes that we’re shooting now for Season 3, and I cannot wait for people to see them.”
“We’re in a bubble with this show,” Simpson adds. “When you’re shooting a Tyler Perry TV show, you’re shooting it the Tyler Perry way. You’re doing 100-plus pages a day. It stretches me so much as an actor and has pushed me to do things I didn’t even know I could do. I feel like a superhero. Like, s–t, I can do anything!”
One character Simpson would like to see Priscilla interact with more is Donald, the president’s chief of staff. “Lodric Collins and I are from the same hometown, and we’ve known each other since junior high,” Simpson says. “He was the last person they cast, so he called me a week before we started shooting and was like, ‘Yo, I’m playing Donald.’ It’s so great. But our paths don’t really cross in the world of The Oval. It would be a lot of fun to be in a scene with him and really go head to head. Our whole town would go crazy. They’re very supportive in Lake Charles, Louisiana. That would be everything.”
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