The Cast Of Power Gets Deep About Their Characters For Season 4

Photo: Courtesy of Starz.
Sitting down for roundtable interviews with the cast of Power wasn’t at all what I expected. On the precipice of their highly anticipated fourth season, I expected the actors on Starz’s most watched series to harp on their storylines that are sure to draw fans into the upcoming drama.
Instead, it turned out to be a beautiful afternoon of dialogue about culture (Omari Hardwick told me that he can love a woman who isn’t Black because he knows exactly who he is), history (Joseph Sikora and I share the same hometown and he provides a brief synopsis of Chicago migrations), and the theoretical frameworks (Lela Loren pushes back on the universality of daddy issues) that define them. This was the lens through which we discussed James "Ghost" St. Patrick, Angela Valdes, Tasha St. Patrick, and Tommy Egan. And if I’m being honest, this way of getting to know the cast was way more insightful.
To keep the spirit of our conversation going, I thought it would be cool to highlight some of their quotes by theme. I promise you’ll look at the Power characters, and your own life, differently.
Season 4 of Power premieres this Sunday, June 25 at 9 p.m. on Starz.
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Photo: Courtesy of Starz.

In the promo for season 4, one of the questions that has been posed is, "Who will turn?" implying that there will be a shift in loyalty this season. Here's what Sikora and Naughton had to say about their characters, Tommy and Tasha, respectively, and loyalty.

JS: “Tommy is incredibly loyal to a fault. Tommy’s bond is something he can’t even comprehend. You saw when he tried to murder Ghost for something that, by the laws of the streets, Ghost should’ve died [for]. That’s why the season was called ‘Ghost Must Die.’ He should’ve gotten killed. Sometimes, just like in life, there’s a bond that we can’t understand. Most of the things that we don’t understand why they’re happening are always to do with love. There’s a love... that’s a bond that Tommy doesn’t even understand having no real brothers and having no father. This is something that’s beyond him. He’s grasping at straws to try to understand it.”

NN: "Tasha has been loyal to Ghost, to a fault, from the beginning. She’s been so loyal that I’m 'bout sick of her. Girl, you better worry about you! At some point, Ghost is choosing himself. He’s not choosing Tasha. He has abandoned his family for this woman Angela. He’s abandoned the house, the home that we built together, the business. Her loyalty is so deeply rooted in the culture. It’s how she was raised. She doesn't wanna lose a father figure for her kids because she didn’t have a father figure. Loyalty for different reasons. It’s almost like who you are, but at the same time you gotta start reinventing yourself and saying ‘Do I deserve this? Do I deserve to be treated this way?’”
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Photo: Courtesy of Starz.

One of the most complicated relationships on the show is the one that exists between Ghost and Angela, played by Omari Hardwick and Lela Loren, respectively.

OH: “What’s there is freaking heart. That shit is in there. She loves him. So, as women, you guys will always be better than men at saying ‘There’s the shit, please don’t step in it,’ and we go ‘I had to! To learn!’ Equally, what’s there always is the ability for the windows to your souls to expose things. Men try to be more of a poker face for a long time. So, even if you’re wondering whether it’s her wondering whether he did it or not, some of it is just a look of ‘God, I gave this dude four years of my life.’ Sometimes it’s just that.”
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Photo: Courtesy of Starz.

Being a father helped Hardwick play Ghost. He has an interesting theory as to why.

OH: “The reality is the guy is the spinal cord of the show. I kept saying this to Courtney knowing that she brought in different actors–friends of mine, Laz Alonso one of them–’You gotta be a father to play this guy. I don’t know if we’ll buy this for multiple seasons if he’s supposed to be a father.’ I did a show years ago in Vancouver on TNT where one of the lines was ‘It’s always about fathers and sons.’ I truly believe that. Note that that doesn’t exclude daughters. We all got daddy issues. Everybody at this table got a daddy issue.”

Loren had a differing opinion, though.

LL: “And mommy issues.”
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Photo: Courtesy of Starz.

On a show like Power, characters are constantly faced with major forks in the road where they have to choose between what's right and easy. Naturally, there are likely to be some regrets. We posed the question to Naughton: what would you have done differently if you were Tasha and we got a surprising answer.

NN: I stopped judging the character. It makes you a better actress when you just submit to who they are. Stop trying to make them who you are. It’s what’s on the page.”

Loren had a similar take on relating to her characters.

LL: "One of the covenants as an actor is instead of wanting the storyline to go a different way, you always have to remain curious about who your character is. If you remain curious about ‘How did she get here? How is she?’ that way you can keep going and going and going. You can keep mining it no matter how long you go for. If you have an idea of what you want, we’re not in control of any of that. Someone else creates the stories. Your job, as an actor, is to stay curious."

I can't help but feel like this applies to real-life relationships as well.
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Photo: Courtesy of Starz.

I asked Hardwick if he thought the themes in Power could help us forward certain conversations we're having on a national level about issues like race. To say he kept it 100 would be an understatement.

OH: “I think it’s impossible not to. What happens is, Black women forever will be the natural protector of a Black man. But Black women go ‘God, I love Omari.” Then, you go read about Omari. Then, you learn that Omari’s real-life wife is not black–mixed, but not Black. After a while you go, 'I gotta learn more about her if I’m gonna stay in love with Omari.' I’m already pushing the conversation forward as man. It’s impossible for me, who is extremely knowledgeable about who I am — which is why I can love other people. That’s always said wrong. ‘You don’t know who you are.’ No, n***a, I know exactly who I am, which is why I can love everybody else. If I’m pushing the conversation forward, then the story of Lela’s Angela and Omari’s Ghost can continue to move the conversation equally. Courtney grew up with white people. Courtney is a Black writer who grew up with white people. I think her attempt was to make a show. A romanticized Greek tragedy with the backdrop of street. Get a bunch of smart, elegant actors, get great writers, get a very solid to rock star crew, and move the entire culture forward. We all learn from Power. Whether we want to or not, we all do.”

He's right.