Interview: Brely Evans on ‘Ambitions’ Mid-Season Finale Cliffhangers
Ambitions actress hints at bloodshed, changing power structures, and girl power.
Soaps.com recently talked with Brely Evans who plays restaurateur and activist Rondell Lancaster on OWN’s primetime soap opera Ambitions. (Read all the shocking Ambitions recaps here.) She teased the many cliffhangers to come in the mid-season finale, which airs tonight August 27. We also discussed the twists and turns that await viewers when the show returns from its hiatus, and the special meaning being on a soap opera holds for her. And don’t miss the exclusive preview at the end of the interview.
When it comes to tonight’s episode, Evans teased, “People become unlikely allies and … it just keeps getting deeper. Because of the cliffhangers, you don’t know what’s on the other side of it. I think [viewers are] just going to be kind of shocked. Everybody’s ready for some bloodshed I think, just because of the nature of the show.”
There is an event in the Ambitions mid-season finale that will directly impact the good-hearted owner of Thelma’s Place. In terms of how it will affect her moving forward, Evans explained, “You’re going to get to see yet another side of Rondell. I love playing her because she brings quite a rainbow. We get to see her doing the family thing, being in love, kind of playing the coy shy thing and then being the strong black woman, the leader. You get to see these many facets of her and now you’re going to get to see her really broken and how she deals with it.”
Rondell’s relationship with her brother Evan Lancaster (Brian White), who crosses many personal and professional lines as the mayor of Atlanta, is a relatable, lighthearted respite from the world of backstabbing and manipulation. Noting that we don’t get to pick our family in real life, Evans speculated, “Rondell loves Evan. He’s actually her pride and joy like she looks at him as the family trophy. She may not like all his dealings, but all in all, that is her brother. She’s going to stand for family first no matter what. I think that’s kind of a common thread that is woven between all the families on the show – they may be corrupt, but families are indeed standing together.”
Rondell might be the most grounded character on Ambitions, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have an agenda as well. Evans teased that as time goes on, viewers will see that Rondell “gets to put things in Evan’s ear,” raising the question, who’s actually running the mayoral office? “There’s going to be some dynamics that I won’t say… it won’t shift the power,” she hinted, “but you’ll understand the strings that can be pulled to make things happen.”
As for her love life, councilman Kent was last seen walking out of that disastrous anniversary dinner upon learning Rondell was going to sell Thelma’s Place to the English Rose development project. Considering just about everyone on the show has a secret or dark side, we had to ask if Kent Hamilton (Yohance Myles) can be trusted. “Oh, I can’t give it up,” she laughed. “I think that every councilman has their eyes on the prize. You guys are going to get to say if the man is serious about the woman or is he using his prowess to get ahead? We’ll say that.”
This season will also further develop her friendship with Amara Hughes (Essence Atkins). “There’s nothing like girl power,” Evans said. “When two women decide to be on the same team, it’s combustible. I think you guys will get to see how that blossoms and that’s beautiful. It’s going to be a beautiful thing.”
As Evans is only privy to her character’s storyline, she watches Ambitions every week to find out what happens just like any other fan of the show. “My eyes are open and my mouth is open too when I’m watching … I love that it has me hooked as well.” Especially when it comes to her outrageously combative sister-in-law. “That Stephanie… boy, you gotta love to hate her.” She laughed. “I love Robin [Givens, Stephanie Lancaster] so much in real life I just can’t believe she’s doing and saying some of these things.”
Big soap fan
Like many fans, Evans grew up watching soap operas such as Dynasty, Knots Landing and Days of our Lives with her mother and grandmother. Therefore, she said of being part of this soaptastic show, “It just brings back childhood memories of the smell of coffee and the sound of ‘How could you do this to me?’ It just makes me smile in the inside knowing my grandmother’s passed on but I know she would have loved to see me do this. It’s really a good little warm and fuzzy feeling to know that soap operas are still taking people on a ride and you still want to know what’s going on.”