Why 'Queen Sugar' Star Bianca Lawson Connects so Deeply With Her Character Darla

OWN’s family drama series Queen Sugar is back for season 5 and fans are thrilled. This season tackles how the Bordelon family adapts to COVID-19 and their never-ending fight to save their family’s land. It also highlights a lighter and more consistent side of Darla (Bianca Lawson) unlike in previous seasons of the show.

Lawson’s portrayal of Darla has earned her much recognition. In a recent interview, Lawson explained just how invested she is in the character.

Bianca Lawson in ‘Queen Sugar’

Lawson stars as Darla, the longtime on-again-off-again love of Ralph Angel. Together, the two share a son, Blue. At the start of the season, Darla and Ralph Angel are estranged and Ralph Angel is raising Blue as a single father with the help of his family.

Viewers soon learn that Darla is a recovering crack addict. In spite of her past mistakes, Ralph Angel’s love for Darla remains. She works diligently to prove herself during her recovery as a better mother.

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Darla and Ralph’s newly rekindled relationship is met with resistance from Ralph Angel’s family, bringing more shame to Darla. With time, his family grows to accept her. Unfortunately, when Darla reveals that Blue may not be Ralph Angel’s biological child, trust is completely broken between Darla, Ralph Angel, and his family.

For a minute, Darla is once again ostracized. She later reveals that Blue was conceived from a horrific gang rape while she was high on drugs. More family issues and embarrassment send Darla on a spiral and she briefly relapses. But with Ralph Angel’s support, she bounces back stronger than ever. 

Bianca Lawson explains why she connects with her character on ‘Queen Sugar’

Lawson admits to Darla being her favorite character thus far in her career to portray. For one, she says Darla gives her the opportunity to play someone she can relate to in some way. Despite her lengthy career, Lawson says that most roles she’s done were not relatable. 

“I love her so much and even though Darla and I are nothing alike, she’s the most personal for me,” Lawson told Shadow And Act. “In that way, that can be challenging because I think previously, I was very much in those actors that I had to transition into verses embody and relate to and that can be very a tricky thing. With Darla, I’m protective of her. I root for her and I love that she hasn’t been perfect. I feel like she’s been very, very human.”

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While Lawson herself has never dealt with addiction, she knows others who have. Her ability to empathize and view Darla as beyond an addict allows her to portray her with such conviction. 

“With addiction is it is such a very lonely disease and it’s a lonely road,” Lawson explained. “And even if you’re not physically alone, it’s emotionally psychically lonely and you it’s a very difficult thing to get through on your own. And I think a lot of times for addicts,  it’s hard to ask for help. There’s a lot of shame, there’s a lot of guilt, and the burden of judgment. I love that Darla is showing it’s possible to overcome it and get through it.”

Queen Sugar airs every Tuesday on OWN at 8 pm EST.

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