(CBS Local)– The season finale of “Tyler Perry’s The Oval” airs on Wednesday, July 22 on BET at and the show has been a smash hit so far.

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One of the many actors to benefit from the show’s success is Natasha Ward. The former Division 1 track runner at UC Irvine plays Ellie Lyles in the series and she’s made a big impact in the five episodes she’s appeared in. Ward will play an even bigger role in the next season of the show and she’s so thankful to be on a show like this.

Photo Credit: Natasha Ward

“The experience being cast on The Oval was pretty crazy. I went in for an audition in LA, just like everyone else and I always say that 95% of the job is auditioning and 5% of the job is working,” said Ward in an interview with CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith. “You got to learn to do the audition, leave it and walk away. The third role that I actually read for the show was the part of Ellie and it’s a pretty cool role honestly.”


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Ward says she loves how her character Ellie serves as a breath of fresh air in the hard, gritty story of the show. The actor enjoys playing a role with many layers and is happy to have the runway to explore all of this in the world Tyler Perry created with “The Oval.”

“What fascinates me the most about The Oval is not many shows can really show what goes on in the White House besides the politics,” said Ward. “I think the fascinating part is how you can be so thoroughly captivated by a show that has a political connotation in it’s name. It really has nothing to do with the politics of the country, but everything to do with the politics of humanity.”

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Watch “Tyler Perry’s The Oval” on BET and stream it now on BET+.