Families have gathered for six years to watch The Saints grow their drug empire every Wednesday evening. What started as a family business quickly became a civil war, with Jerome and Franklin standing on both ends of the gun in season seven. A bullet wounded Jerome in the stomach after he swooned in Kane’s warehouse like a knight in shining armor. The OG’s passing left a void in Franklin and Louie’s hearts, but the former business partners are pointing fingers at each other. 

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Twitter labeled Louie the show’s villain, but Angela Lewis doesn’t think her character did anything wrong. Lewis said, “I think Louie is the villain because she is not on Franklin’s side. But I don’t think Louie has done anything wrong, even with her going to Teddy. You know, people say she went behind his back. I look at it as she went over his head, and I think that’s why he’s mad. Because she went over his head and she did what was best for her. Let me remind everybody that this didn’t happen until after she was shot and almost killed because of something Franklin did.” 

Despite Louie and Franklin’s fractured relationship, Lewis’ character reflects the true story of the strong, no-nonsense women who were power players during the crack epidemic. Lewis admits to being “scared of everything” in real life. But her character gives her a strength she never knew she had. Lewis said, “[Louie] taught me to open my mouth and say what I want to say, what I don’t want to say, what I like, and what I don’t like, to be able to articulate my vision, even if the vision isn’t fully clear to myself.”


Angela Lewis virtually sat down with us ahead of the premiere of episode seven to discuss the impact her “Snowfall” character had on her life, John Singleton’s influence, and her next chapter.

The women have been carrying the final season on their backs and it’s a true reflection of the relationship dynamic between black men and women, particularly in low-income neighborhoods. Can you speak on the impact playing Louie had on your life and career?

What I learned about playing Louie is that you can’t play her from a place of fear, right? And, and I think historically in my life I’m afraid of everything. From bees to like, what if I turned the wrong way to like, oh, what if the ink pen dries out before I finish this? Whatever it is. Like I’m scared of everything. Louie put me in a position to be trying new things. From holding a gun to, you know, being gangster and how to do that and make sure I do it and look good, look cool, look like I know what I’m doing and all these things, right? In spite of that, if I am doing it from a place of fear, from a place of being back on my heels, it doesn’t work. 

Episode six was so intense! One highlight for me was that emotional scene between Jerome and Louie when she admitted that her ambition caused the war between him and his nephew. Many people on Twitter feel like Louie is the show’s villain. How do you feel about that?

I did a lot of work to be able to be deep in that space: In the space of like fear, but courageousness. In the space of feeling the pain. I think this is probably the most extreme situation she’s ever been in, but Louie is not a stranger to abuse. She’s not a stranger to not knowing if she’s gonna make it through a given situation, you know? And so I had to tap into that. What does that look like for her? What does it also look like? You know, Louie is a survivor. Someone asked me on online, ‘How come she didn’t just give up Buckley?’ And, you know, it wasn’t about Buckley. It was about, if I give, if I give him up, I’m dead right now. Louie doesn’t give up even when things look grim and looks like there’s no way out. I think she’s gonna stall it as long as she can, you know? Maybe she can find an escape. Maybe somebody, ie. Jerome will come looking for her. I think there’s always that little glimmer of hope for Louie that I’m gonna get out of this. How can I get out of this? So there was a lot of that. There was a lot of anger that this is happening to her. Anger that she knows Franklin is the one who gave her up and then when he walks in the door, she absolutely knows that. 

And so there’s anger towards the, you know, him for that. Um, just, it is a lot, you know, she, right before she, this happened to her, she and Jerome were on this precipice of, are we gonna make it?

Despite take accountability privately, Louie blames Franklin for EVERYTHING and wants revenge. I was a bit hopeful for reconciliation at the end of episode seven when Louie asked why’d he return for her, but it’s clear that she plans to help Teddy take Franklin out. Is there any possibility that you guys will bury the hatchet before someone gets killed?

I think Louie is the villain because she is not on Franklin’s side, but I don’t think Louie has done anything wrong, even with her going to Teddy. And, you know, people say she went behind his back. I look at it as she went over his head, and I think that’s why he’s mad. Because she went over his head and she did what was best for her. Now, let me remind everybody that this didn’t happen until after she was shot and almost killed because of something Franklin did. Up until that point, she had been undervalued. Louie has been his biggest asset, his biggest help, his biggest support. Every time she was asking for a pay cut on the price of the bricks he was like, “No.” She’s like, well, let me talk to Teddy to talk him down, “No.” You know, and not only that, but like screaming on her, so she wasn’t being heard. She wasn’t being seen. Now I’m almost dead cause of you, let me do my own thing. So I think her admission to Jerome about her ambition wasn’t an admission to this is my fault. The family is torn apart, the family is messed up. Her admission was, I have learned that I have value.

Thinking about the ending of “Snowfall” makes me emotional because the show is also one of John Singleton’s final contributions to the culture. What is a fond memory you share with him?

I would say the being in my power was my biggest lesson from him. Something that I’ll carry with me forever at work and at home, and as I’m navigating this crazy, crazy world. I just remember I had a birthday party and I invited everybody and he came and that meant a lot to me. I was like, “Wow, He showed up for me.” He didn’t have to do that. He’s a very, very busy man, and he came out for me. That really meant a lot. 

I want to backtrack to how you landed the role because according to reports, John Singleton had a Louie in mind. Reports claim Lauren London was handpicked to play Aunt Louie, but everything plays out the way it’s supposed to. How’d you ultimately get the job?

The pilot of “Snowfall” was shot twice. I auditioned for Snowfall in like 2016 or something like that. But I didn’t get it. So, you know, as actors, we audition for a lot of stuff and don’t get it, and then you keep it moving. So then a year later, when they came back across my desk, it was the same scene. You know, the, the scene where Louie is fighting off the porch and taking the earrings off. I was like, ‘I know I auditioned for this already.’ This is because you don’t forget a scene like this. My reps were like, well, that’s okay, just audition again. I was like, ‘Okay.’ So I auditioned and I got a callback, and then I got another call back, and then I eventually booked the role. I found out like a week later that I had booked the role. I had not heard of such a thing as in Hollywood. Oftentimes they shoot a pilot and for whatever reason it doesn’t work. It doesn’t go. So they scrap all the things and start building it again, and then they try again. So that’s what happened with Snowfall. They shot the pilot, it didn’t work, and then they just kind of dismantled it, put it back together, tried again, and then, and that was our pilot. Then it went and it went for six years. So I feel extremely fortunate, and you’re right. Things happen the way they’re supposed to happen, and I believe what’s yours is yours and nothing can stop that. I had no idea Snowfall was mine and Louie was mine, but here we are. . 

Were there any roles you previously auditioned for that you didn’t get and it turned out to be a huge role?

I can’t think of one in particular. But I had an odd experience: I went to the movies and I was watching The Wrestler and I was sitting there and I knew the scene. Like I knew what was about to happen. I kind of knew the lines. I was like, ‘Have I seen this movie before? No, I haven’t seen it.’ Then it occurred to me like two weeks later, I auditioned for that movie, and The Wrestler is like one of my favorites. I auditioned for all kinds of stuff: Big stuff, little stuff, the stuff you don’t think is gonna go, or you don’t think it’s gonna be a big deal, and then it is. Or you turn down something and you’re like, ‘Ah!’ I feel like with every decision I make, I always am considering everything: Do I like the project? Is it gonna be good money? Is it gonna be good timing for me and my family. There are so many things to consider. So if I say no or if I don’t get something, you know, well, if I don’t get it, then, you know, it wasn’t for me. It was for this person to enjoy this success and God bless ’em. And I have to know that my time is coming and it’s my time. My thing is my thing. What’s for me is for me, and if I say no to something and it blows up, then I have to know, well, I said no for a reason and be okay with it. Because if I’m walking around mad because I missed out on this thing, it’s like, well, I’m gonna just be mad and sad for the rest of my life. You gotta feel good about your decisions and feel good about knowing that you’re supported by God, by the universe. Whatever your thing is, you’re supported. And so there’s no need to worry, there’s no need to get upset, there’s no need to be feeling envious and all those things. Like what’s for you? It’s for you. 

What’s next for Angela once Snowfall ends and Louie’s chapter is closed?

Well, Angela’s gonna have this baby in the mid-Summer. So I’m just focusing on that right now. Focusing on finishing out “Snowfall” and bringing this new life to the world and being ready for that. And then, you know, we’ll see.