You may know Donshea Hopkins as her beloved Power character Raina St. Patrick or you might even recall seeing the young starlet’s face on Orange Is the New Black as Monica Hayes. Now you need to get familiar with the girl behind these characters and be on the look out for the storm Hopkins is about to cast on young Hollywood.
At 12 months old Donshea started talking and by the age of about 3 she noticed there weren’t kids that looked like her on television, so a passion for acting ignited. When she was much younger she wrote monologues and scripts and performed them for her mother. It was her New Year’s Eve tradition with her mom that kicked off her acting career. On the brink of a new year Hopkins and her mother look each other in the eyes and share their goals and ambitions for the year to come. Acting was one of Donshea’s goals and with her mom’s help the two made it happen.
Landing the role of Raina on Starz’ Power made the actress a household name as being one of the most innocent characters the show had. Sadly, during the final moments of season 4 Raina met an untimely demise which shook the fandom up. The hashtag #BringRainaBack trended as fans shared their upset at Donshea’s Raina leaving the show. I got the opportunity to chat with Hopkins about working on Power since season 1, her music, and more.
“The first day on set it was just this amazing energy. Everyone was so willing to work and willing to work together to make it a hit show. We actual made a pact, we said from this day on we will be the best we can be and we will make this a hit show. From the get go we had this mindset that ‘Power’ was going to be this hit show and working with the cast was amazing,” Donshea shared about her moments on the set of Power.
Of all her times working on the show, she remembers season 1, episode 8 when Raina got to play Annie in the school play. A custom dressed was created for her and she got to perform in front a large live audience, which she loves. She also recalls fooling fans of the show when shooting and pretending to have British accents with some cast members.
Donshea then got candid about that infamous death scene on Power, her character was shot by a crooked cop, and how she first found out about the news. “I was upset. We were actually taping episode 8 that day and they told me, ‘Courtney wants to talk to you. She wants to talk to you in her office.’ I just knew from that moment that Raina was coming to an end,” Hopkins revealed. She added, “My initial reaction, I was devastated because I thought we were going to get to see Raina grow and evolve into a bigger character, but we never know we still can because it’s all up to the fans. You guys can use the hashtag #BringRainaBack.”
You would think a violent death would have left young Donshea traumatized but that was not the case. “For me it was pretty interesting because that was my first time dying on a TV show. It was a lot of work that went into it. We did a stunt rehearsal before, but the whole time it was surreal. It didn’t really sink in until months later that Raina’s dead, she’s not coming back.” She remembers being really cold and really sick because she had to repeatedly drop into the snowy, cold ground as part of her death scene. “It wasn’t traumatizing. It wasn’t as bad as everyone thinks,” Donshea concluded.
Power fans have been vocal about Donshea being killed off the show making the actress truly touched. “I didn’t know Raina would have that much of an impact. I knew people loved Raina and thought she was a relatable, down to earth person on the show, but I didn’t think that there would be such an impact.” Leaving the character behind, Hopkins hopes Raina has a good legacy in seasons to come.
Currently, Donshea is working on new music following her debut 3Point2 EP and plans to release an acoustic version of that album. On the acting side she’s working on a movie and writing her own TV show. She wants to remind her fans how humble and grateful she is for them and that just because she can’t talk about everything she’s working on doesn’t mean she’s not working.
Keep up with all the things Donshea Hopkins has coming up by following her on social media. Follow her on Instagram @Donshea_Hopkins and on Twitter @DonsheaH. Be sure to visit DonsheaHopkins.com for all additional updates.
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