(Photo Credit: Naturi Naughton instagram)

Naturi Naughton’s incredible smile and “don’t-take-no-mess” persona she portrays in the hit show, POWER, are just a couple of the reasons why so many fans love her. Throughout her career on film and in music she’s been a scene-stealer with her talent, but now someone else will be getting all the shine: her new child that is on the way.

“It’s been a little surreal, but I feel really good, healthy and strong,” the star, 32, tells PEOPLE in an exclusive interview about her pregnancy.

The pregnancy came as a surprise to Naughton and her longtime boyfriend Ben, but “it’s such a blessing,” she says.

“I feel like being pregnant and entering this new stage has made me stronger and more excited about life in general. Everything seems so much more purposeful.”

Naughton spoke about the trials of being a beautiful dark-skinned woman in Hollywood in 2015 interview.

“You have to dig deep. Make sure you love who you are,” she shares.

“I think there’s always this cycle that happens when you’re a black woman in Hollywood, and it can be frustrating because you start to feel like you’re just a fad. Like, ‘oh, now the dark skin, beautiful, brown chocolate sistas are in’… and praising Lupita, which is beautiful.

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