Tuesday, May 28, 2024

‘Power’ Star Joseph Sikora Dishes About Tommy’s ‘Reincarnation’ + S4 DVD Release [EUR Exclusive]

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*From Executive Producer Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and show creator Courtney  A. Kemp (“The Good Wife”), “Power”: The Complete Fourth Season is now available on DVD from Lionsgate.

The drama follows the enthralling rags-to-riches tale of James “Ghost” St. Patrick, a wealthy New York nightclub owner who leads a double life of survival and corruption as a drug kingpin. Omari Hardwick (TV’s “Being Mary Jane,” Shot Caller), Lela Loren (TV’s “Lost,” Reign Over Me), Naturi Naughton (Notorious), Joseph Sikora (TV’s “True Detective”) and Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson (Get Rich or Die Tryin’) star in this hard-hitting series about betrayal and survival.

Season 4 centered on Ghost’s shocking arrest by his ex-girlfriend, Assistant United States Attorney Angela Valdes, for the murder of FBI Agent Greg Knox – a crime he did not commit. Ghost can’t outrun his past choices and mounting enemies, which threaten his freedom and his family’s safety at every turn. His fight for redemption brings him face-to-face with the feds, the media, new allies, and old foes. However, the biggest obstacle for Ghost remains himself and his internal struggle between the man he wants to be and the one he really is.

When Season 5 kicks off Sunday, July 1 on STARZ, it picks up with Ghost in a dangerous alliance with his former drug partner and brother in arms Tommy Egan (Sikora) and mortal enemy Kanan Stark (50 Cent).

EUR/Electronic Urban Report dished with Chicago native Joe Sikora about the DVD release and where fans will find his character (Tommy) when the new season premieres next month. 

Get into our Q&A below.

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Are there any special features on the DVD/Blu-Ray release that you are looking forward too or that fans should look out for?

Joseph Sikora: Something I always looks forward to is hearing Courtney A. Kemp speak about what went into this season and all the behind-the-scenes stuff. They always do a great job with the DVD’s so it’ll be worth it. Plus, there’s just something special about having a DVD, something physical to touch. 

In terms of your acting style and process, talk about the creative fulfillment you get from working with this all-star cast. 

Joseph Sikora: My process is really different than the other four leads, probably because I’ve done so much theater and (Power) is so theatrically based and so notes-filled and so much homework and research.

I love working with Omari. From the time they say action to the time they say cut I know that Omari is going to be present. I know he’s going to be listening to me and I know that as long as I’m being truthful I’m going to get truthful reactions back from him. It’s been a true joy working with him from day one.

And then the young and upcoming actors on the show, they keep the bar high. They came into this show seeing the bar acting-wise and storytelling-wise just set really high. And then these guest stars that are regulars on this series who are such seasoned, incredible actors; it’s an incredibly well-cast ensemble show, so in that case, it feels very theatrical and I feel very safe.

How much of your own persona is embedded in Tommy? And how does being from a city like Chicago help to inform this character?

Joseph Sikora: Chicago is a huge part of it. I based Tommy on people that I was scared of growing up in Chicago and people that I would meet but not hang around for too long. I based him on men who had death in their eyes and who lived by the code of the street and were ready to die any day. Those aren’t people I wanted to surround myself with but they are people who I consistently found myself in the company of growing up, especially in my teenage years and into my 20’s. So I drew a lot from that — viscerally, I had a lot of that in my body.

And then I based him also on a lot of the classic gangsters that thought would be applicable. A big named one who I just started reading biographies about and watching everything I could get my hands on was Dutch Schultz. He was an emotional guy and a vicious murderer but also had this crazy, quirky sense of humor and always thought outside the box.

The writers came up with all these weird ways that Tommy kills people, which is just bizarrely reflective of Dutch Schultz. At one point, he took this rag to torture this guy, got a syphilitic prostitute and put this syphilitic rag over this man’s eyes and tortured him hanging on a meat hook in his back. This is so reminiscent of Tommy and yet this is actually true and we never talked to the writers about it. I trusted in the symbiosis between the storytellers and the story vessels, us as actors, early on in the first season.

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What kinds of obstacles will Tommy face this new season and what can you tell us about his dynamic with Ghost and Kanan?

Joseph Sikora: Tommy’s relationship between Ghost and Kanan will be different this year because Tommy is different this year. I think Tommy has kind of reincarnated himself after these tumultuous tragedies of these last seasons, but into pretty much the same guy he’s always been. It’s a small difference but it means everything. This is the most self-actualized and individualistic that we’ve seen Tommy and it’s going to be a very difficult season because he’s up to his waist in sh*t when we start this season.

He’s got nobody to turn to except for his brother who he can’t trust and somebody he knows would murder him if it benefited him — that’s all he has to work with at this point. Tommy is starting off way behind the 8-ball but he’s determined and he’s going to go forward strong. I think that’s one of the reasons why everybody likes to watch Tommy because he’s got this blue-collar feel to him that he’s going to get it no matter what and he’s going to work it and he’s never going to say no. I admire Tommy’s work ethic, even though it’s the game and it’s all illegal activity, Tommy is ruthless because there’s only one direction for him… forward.

If Tommy was your real-life homeboy from Chicago, what advice would you give him?

Joseph Sikora: I would say don’t spend all the money that I’m putting in your canteen in prison in one go. I would say, make nice with people in prison. I know you’re never getting out so I’ll try to get down and visit you. I hope that you make it somewhere close, maybe on good behavior and you’re 80-years-old, I can visit you in Vandalia (Correctional Center).

Or, I would be saying prayers at Tommy’s grave because these guys cannot live in the game that long unless you keep going up, and then maybe you make it to 50, 60-years-old and running everything but you’re still going to get murdered. There are only two ways out in this game: prison or death. That direction to the top of hustling is a murderous, duplicitous life. I just try to bring the humanity to it so people can see a real human being dealing with the struggles in this particular situation that the writers come up with.

Season Five of “Power” premieres Sunday, July 1 at 12:01 a.m. on the STARZ app (and On Demand). The network on-air premiere will be at the regularly scheduled time of 8:00 p.m. ET/PT. 

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