Whether you love her or hate her, Aunt Louie is the character that has people talking in the final season of Snowfall.
The characters in Snowfall navigate through war zones the drug epidemic created, leaving them in different circumstances. Lewis’s character Louie has been through a lot over the six seasons, making her a standout. She started at the bottom but used her brains, connections and desire for a different life to get her out of South Central LA.
Shadow and Act caught up with Lewis, who makes it known she never lets fear drive the car, to talk about the sixth and final season of the show. Lewis discusses the evolution of her character as well as making the show’s co-creator, the late John Singleton, proud.
Congratulations on the success of 'Snowfall.' Obviously, fans are a bit disappointed, but also excited because it's the final season. What do you think has the show's impact has been on today's culture?
I hope a lot of impact. I hope positive impact. I hope people are proud of the work that we’re doing and able to, and what the show set out to do. It was created to give a message, to say something and to reveal a part of history that had been hidden for a long time in the community and the world at large. I think some people in our community knew about the CIA’s impact on and involvement in bringing crack cocaine into the community, but it was not a really widespread nugget of information. So I feel good that we were able to bring that to the forefront and talk about it. And then in our storytelling, with vivid characters and amazing acting abilities and amazing writing, I hope that our community and the TV-watching community at large has been impacted in a way that we get to see ourselves do really amazing work. Franklin will live on forever, I hope, and Louie will be in there too. I like to think that we left a lasting impression on the culture.
What's been the biggest part of your character's journey that you have been the most excited about? How are you feeling as far as her character development has been concerned throughout the time she's been on the show?
I think her development has been really fun, and not an easy one to foresee. I think with the efforts of the writers, and the part of me that I bring to the character, we’ve been able to evolve Louie into a place that we no one ever saw coming, even ourselves, and that’s been really exciting. I’ve loved watching Louie discover herself and find herself in a more powerful skin than she ever had the opportunity to experience. I’ve loved watching and experiencing the dynamics between herself and Jerome and herself and the rest of her family, the ebbs and flows and the ups and downs like a roller coaster. It’s been a wild ride. And the wild ride is always the most fun.
Speaking of Jerome, we saw Jerome’s tragic end in last week's episode. How does it set up Louie’s story for the remainder of the season?
Well, I think Louis is in a fragile state. She lost everything when she lost her home, and she lost her love. She lost her protector, her physical protector, but also the person who was protecting her heart. I think she lost her partner, and in all the ways that one can. You speak on partnership. She lost that when she lost her own. So she lost pretty much everything. And how do you bounce back from that? How do you seek revenge for that? How do you move forward? She lost a lot. And I think it’s going to be a messy progression toward whatever her next move or whatever the next space she will occupy is going to be a messy, a messy progression.
You spoke a little bit about Louie’s character development, and she’s definitely been one of the more polarizing characters on the show. And viewers either applaud her behavior, her actions, or they've been opposed to her. So as an actress, how have you dealt with the changes in her character? Especially comes when especially when it comes to the fans as sentiments about her changes season to season?
It’s been fun. I. I think Louie has been pretty consistent, very consistent in her loyalty, consistent in her love, consistent in what she brings to the table, consistent in her being smart, and making dynamic decisions. And it’s interesting to experience the audience’s reactions and sentiments. I’m not mad that people are mad at Louie right now. I am a bit disturbed by their reasoning. I think a lot of the reasons that people write about don’t make sense. And it makes me wonder if people are really watching the show. But it is always it’s still fun.
Do you feel as if this was a good time to close out the show?
Yes. You know, I think we came in, we have a story to tell, and we told it. We told it well, and I don’t think we need to drag it out any longer. I think it’s a wonderful thing to kind of go out with a bang and go out on top. I’ll miss everybody. I’ll miss the family, but it’s a good time to go.
Now, the show continued after John Singleton's unfortunate passing, which I'm sure in the beginning was difficult for the cast and crew to foresee. And he had already contributed amazing work to American film and television, especially pushing Black stories forward. So how do you feel as if 'Snowfall' has been a good, final tribute to him?
I think we all put our best foot forward. We all brought our A-game. We all bring the heat. And that’s what John loved to see. He loved to see us bring the heat. He loved to see us thriving. He fought for people. He fought for equity. So the evolution of even our cast and crew and how much more diverse they were, there was always the situation. But by this final season, it was way more diverse than it was in the beginning. And so I think the effort of his fight with carried on. I think he would be proud. I feel like he would be proud of us on so many levels.
Now that 'Snowfall' is over, what are you hoping to get into next as far as the next phase of your career? Do you plan to balance your life as a theater actress with what you're doing in the film and television world?
I always planned for that. We’ll see what happens. I’m open. I am also producing now, so I think it’s really important to tell your story and tell the stories that you want to see in the world and not to wait. And there are so many platforms and ways and accessibility now that it’s not hard to get your project made, because it certainly is the whole other grind. But there’s an opportunity to be the change you want to see. So I’m excited to be doing that. And I’m excited for whatever is next for me acting-wise. I’m five months pregnant now, so I’m really excited to bring this new life into the world. And I’m excited not to be worried about what’s next. Worry is more so in the back seat. I can’t say that I don’t have any worries ever. Certainly, I do, but it’s not the thing that’s driving the car. It’s not the thing that’s controlling my life. And I’m really grateful to be in that space.