April 12 (UPI) -- Aisha Hinds admits she feels "all the pressure in the world" playing 19th century abolitionist Harriet Tubman on the WGN America drama Underground.
"I feel every ounce of it. Every, single ounce of it, I absolutely feel," the 41-year-old actress told reporters at a New York Comic Con round-table interview.
"I completely fell apart in the camera test," she revealed. "All the excitement of, 'Oh, my God, I got the role,' dissipated the day that I showed up and actually had to execute on this role, you know what I mean? Because there's the day that you do all the research. There's the day that you prepare and then there is the day you've got to show up and execute and I think I got so full just knowing that this woman's legacy is so precious that I don't want to be the one to mess it up in any way."
Hinds went on to say she relished the opportunity to "peel back the layers of [Tubman's] humanity."
"To pull her down from that statue, to pull her out of those famed portraits of her just standing, holding the gun or just with the shawl. It's awesome to, by all means, experience these pieces and artifacts. We went to the Smithsonian. They have a huge section dedicated to her and her legacy and her belongings. There is a beautiful museum in Ohio," she said. "So, it's great to see these things and get as close as possible, but it is also great to understand what makes up her entirety. How devoted she was to her family and just even understanding her family lineage and history... Her mother was already owned before she was even born into the world. She was already an asset to an owner who wasn't even old enough to own her! And, so, just sort of understanding that history makes her so palpable for me and, so, it is an honor to share these stories and to give her some life and flesh and air for this generation."
The actress will be seen delivering a monumental, episode-long speech as the historical figure on Wednesday's episode of the celebrated, period drama.
Created by Misha Green and Joe Pokaski, the show co-stars Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Aldis Hodge, Jessica de Gouw, Alano Miller, Christopher Meloni, Amirah Vann and Marc Blucas.