Taylour Paige plays Asha, a newbie Los Angeles Devils girl, whose mom (and former Devils girl) Sloane, played by Kimberly Elise, disapproves of her joining the team. “But she does it anyway,” Paige tells Vixen of the lead character.
The recent college grad may be very similar to her role on the show, but she’s also very different to her small screen persona, especially in the men department.
Unlike her (a little bit naive) alter ego, she’s happily in love with her real-life boyfriend, while her character plays with fire between her BF and Devils basketball player Derek Roman, played by McKinley Freeman. “She’s had the same boyfriend for three and a half years but can’t deny the spark she has with a basketball player,” she explains.
Before the show airs, learn more about why Taylour’s been preparing for this role her whole life and working with acting vet Kimberly Elise. — Sharifa Daniels
VV: What was your initial reaction when you got the part?
Taylour Paige: I fell to the ground and started crying. It was like an outer body experience, something I seemingly prepared for my whole life with experiences in college, dance classes. and acting classes. It was a crazy feeling. It’s like me and Asha are the same. I’ve never done anything like this before. All these little experiences my whole life have seemingly prepared me for the role of Asha. It was like I was simultaneously going through some of the things she goes through to prepare of this role and it was really crazy.
Is this your first big gig?
Yes, it’s my first big gig. I’ve done tons of Debbie Allen musicals. I was a dancer in Glee and I was a Laker girl for three months. I’ve done my share of dance, but this is my first breakout show.
It sounds like this role is very similar to your real life.
Asha and I are very different, but I pull from a lot of honest places because of where we are in our lives. We’re both newcomers, we both want to establish ourselves as someone, and we’re searching for a purpose and a way to inspire.
Does Asha listen when people tell her to be careful with the Los Angeles Devils?
She listens, of course, but the best lessons are the ones you experience and fall a little bit. She has to go through that to have a little triumph. She’s getting drawn into something that sometimes she’s not even aware of.
What about your character don’t you relate to?
Asha’s still figuring out who she is and wants to be in the world and sometimes loses sight of her morals. She’s a really sweet girl and was raised by her mother in the best way possible, but she gets caught up so fast. For me, I worked so hard to get to where I am and I don’t ever want to lose sight of being grounded. No matter how exciting this role becomes or successful this show gets, I would never want to loss sight of where I started or where I’ve come from. You’ll see throughout the episodes that Asha will start to get her hands a little dirty and become a little ungrateful.
VV: How was it working with Kimberly Elise?
TP: She’s awful! [Laughs] No, I’m just kidding. She’s the most incredible, most professional. Her delivery, her lines, her preparation–she brings a beautiful energy to set. When I have scenes with her, she’s so engaged that you can’t help but be engaged. She’s giving you so much real and vulnerability that it inspires you to bring it too.
We know a little about your on-screen relationship and Asha’s interest in Derek Roman. Are you dating off-screen?
I am dating off the show. I have a boyfriend and he’s amazing.
He’s very supportive of your career?
He is. He’s been there [through] my ups and downs of auditions. He’s very supportive and excited and he hasn’t seen the show yet so he’s in for a treat too.
Tune into VH1 on May 27 at 9 p.m. to see Taylour Paige hit the floor!