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‘The Game’ Star Lauren London Teases Her Character’s Big ‘Shift’ as Final Season Premieres

”This is the beginning to the end of how we know her,“ BET actress tells TheWrap about her role as Keira Whitaker

The ninth and final season of BET’s “The Game” premieres Wednesday night and Lauren London, who plays fictional actress Keira Whitaker, promises the first episode will be the start of many changes.

“This is the beginning to the end of how we know her,” London told TheWrap Wednesday. “After this episode, it actually sets the tone for a shift in my character.”

Season 8 concluded with Keira facing the difficult decision of staying with Blue (Jay Ellis) or choosing his San Diego Sabers teammate Malik (Hosea Chanchez).

BET revived the dramedy in 2011, after The CW had canceled the series. When the fourth-season premiered on BET, the show set a record for the network with 7.7 million viewers.

The story of the fictional football players and their spouses has remained a strong performer for the network, although its ratings have dropped off. In October, BET announced that creator Mara Brock Akil had decided to close the story after nine seasons, and production of the final season wrapped in December.

In the interview below, London discusses who her character may ultimately choose, how the popular series will end, and the challenges she faced joining the cast after the departure of fan-favorite Tia Mowry-Hardrict.



TheWrap: Give us an idea of what happens in the Season 9 premiere.
Lauren London: This is the beginning to the end of how we know her. After this episode, it actually sets the tone for a shift in my character that we’re about to see and this is the beginning of that.

Does that shift involve Malik?
Malik is involved… that’s what I can tell you. I’m like an FBI agent (laughs). At the end of it all, the season finale, it’s gonna be a different Keira that we see. I think Blue and Malik actually contribute to that.

TheWrap: Did you feel pressure stepping into this show with Tia Mowry leaving?
I never felt pressure. I’m very secure with myself. I knew that I wasn’t replacing Tia. Keira was not replacing Melanie, her character. Any pressure that I feel is actually about myself and doing the best that I can do, but no, I didn’t feel that I was stepping behind anybody.



How did the cast receive you?
Everybody was warm and welcoming, and just happy to see what me and Jay [Ellis] were gonna do. It was my first TV show really. I think everyone was excited that they could help me out with it and really welcomed us into the family as if we had been there the whole time.

But I saw you on “Single Ladies!”
Yes, but that was a guest-starring role. It wasn’t actually being part of a cast. I had never done TV like that, everyday. It’s a totally different schedule than film.

Do you want to do more TV?
I love TV! I like the schedule, I love film though. Film is of course my first love.

Does the cast stay in touch now that you have finished shooting the series?
We all keep in contact, we get on group chats and talk. Everyone has their own individual lives, so it’s kind of hard to get together. But we do as much as we can and it’s genuine and authentic.

Who’s the biggest cut-up on set?
Brandy [Norwood] is really funny and Wendy [Raquel Robinson] is hilarious. She always keeps me laughing.

What do you think of the way the series ends?
“I’m so happy with how my character ended up”

The Game” airs Wednesdays at 10P/9C on BET.

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