Sheryl Lee Ralph discusses her powerful role as President Wade in 'Motherland: Fort Salem'

The actress is passionate about starring in a show that she says "really puts the power of femininity on a platform."

ByAndrea Lans and Sierra Stoltzfus OTRC logo
Friday, August 20, 2021
Sheryl Lee Ralph discusses her powerful role on 'Motherland'
Sheryl Lee Ralph joins On The Red Carpet for an empowering interview on playing President Kelly Wade on Freeform's "Motherland: Fort Salem."

Sheryl Lee Ralph is no stranger to iconic roles, but her latest is the true embodiment of a woman in power, and she does not take that for granted. The renowned actress reprises her role as President Kelly Wade in season 2 of Freeform's "Motherland: Fort Salem."

"I love this show, created by Eliot Laurence, that really, really puts the power of femininity on a platform," Ralph told On The Red Carpet. "And when I say power, I don't mean just some little bit of power. I mean the strength, the power, the everything wonderful about being a woman in power."

The series is set in an alternate, present-day America where witches fight for their country as part of the U.S. Army.

"I think through this show we'll learn: Men think they've got power? Oh, you've seen nothing until women rise to power and take their place," Ralph said.

While Ralph has guest-starred in the show previously, the penultimate episode of the second season is when President Wade makes her grand entrance at Fort Salem. Previously, General Alder (Lyne Renée) was puppeting the president, a manipulative act which she now has to face the consequences for. And the real President Wade? She is a woman not to be messed with.

"When I look and I see myself on TV as this character, I'm like, 'Who is that woman?' My face is so different, my demeanor is so different, my stance is so different," Ralph said.

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The witches have a multitude of powers in the show, and one of them is using their voice to express sacred sounds to create supernatural effects.

"I love the way they use their voices. You know, so much has been made about the quality and the timber of a woman's voice, who will listen to it, what tone we have, what tone can men understand," Ralph said. "The moment you make that witch really mad, that scream is something that will put you someplace you did not expect to go. I love it."

In the season 2 finale, the witches must face the formidable Camarilla, as the ancient enemy brings the fight to Fort Salem.

"I really believe that this show is going to become iconic," Ralph continued. "Years from now, people will look at it and they'll say, 'Whoah, look at that show. Look at what was happening,' because the future is feminine."

The season 2 finale of "Motherland: Fort Salem" airs Tues., Aug. 24, at 10 p.m. ET/PT | 9 p.m. CT on Freeform, next day on Hulu.

The Walt Disney Co. is the parent company of Freeform and this station.