Saturday, July 31, 2021

Michael Rainey Jr. Talks Tariq’s Development in ‘Power Book II: Ghost’ / EUR Exclusive-WATCH

*It seems like an eternity ago that fans of the hit STARZ series “Power” learned that James St. Patrick – AKA Ghost – was killed by his son Tariq. With four spinoffs on the horizon, Power fans may have lost Ghost, but the Power universe is strong and lives on.

“Power Book II: Ghost” picks up the action less than 48 hours after the earth-shattering events of “Power.”  Tariq St. Patrick  has stepped into a completely new world. His father dead and his mother, Tasha (Naturi Naughton) is facing charges for the murder her son committed. Not to mention the academic rigors of the Ivy League university Tariq is attending to earn his inheritance. Truly on his own for the first time in his life, Tariq is forced to split his time between school and hustling to pay for Davis MacLean (Method Man,) the fame-hungry defense lawyer who is Tasha’s only hope of getting out of jail and escaping prosecution by newly minted U.S. Attorney Cooper Saxe. With no better options, Tariq turns to the familiar drug game, entangling himself with a cutthroat family headed by Monet Stewart Tejada, that’s been at it far longer than him. As Tariq tries to balance his drug operation with his grades, love life, and family, he figures out that the only way to avoid the same fate his father met is to become him — only better.

EURweb’s Jill Munroe talked with Michael Rainey Jr. about what it’s like stepping up as the lead for the new series and what we can expect for Tariq’s development this season.

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On stepping into a series lead role:

Honestly, it’s amazing. I couldn’t be more thankful for it. 50 and Courtney believed in me. I couldn’t ask for any more than that. It’s insane, I’m still getting used to it.

On approaching the role of Tariq differently for Power Book II:

 I definitely looked at it differently. This isn’t the same Tariq. He just killed his father, that alone is weighing on him. His mom taking the wrap and he has to get money to support her and completing school with a 3.5 GPA. So he’s a whole different kid. He has a lot more to focus on, a lot of responsibility and decisions to make. He’s a new Tariq and he doesn’t have anyone to turn to. He has no one to ask what should I do. So he has to go for it to see what happens next.

In addition to Michael and Naturi Naughton the cast features some of our favorite characters from “Power” and introduces new ones including Mary J. Blige (Mudbound, “The Umbrella Academy”) as “Monet Stewart Tejada” and Cliff “Method Man” Smith (“The Deuce,” Garden State) as “Davis MacLean. They join Shane Johnson (“Power,” Behind Enemy Lines) as “Cooper Saxe,” Gianni Paolo (Ma, “The Fosters”) as “Brayden Weston,” Quincy Tyler Bernstine (“Ray Donovan,” “Modern Love”) as “Tameika Washington,” Daniel Bellomy (The Real MVP: The Wanda Durrant Story) as “Ezekiel ‘Zeke’ Cross,” Paige Hurd (“The Oval,” “Hawaii Five-O”) as “Lauren Baldwin,” Melanie Liburd (“This is Us,” “Gypsy”) as “Caridad ‘Carrie’ Milgram,” Justin Marcel McManus (“Star”) as “Jabari Reynolds,” Woody McClain (“The Bobby Brown Story,” “The New Edition Story”) as “Cane Tejada,” Lovell Adams-Gray (“Coroner,” “Slasher”) as “Dru Tejada,” and LaToya Tonodeo (“The Oath”) as “Diana Tejada.”

“Power Book II: Ghost” is executive produced by series creator and showrunner Courtney A. Kemp through her company End of Episode and Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson through his G-Unit Film and Television.

The series premieres Sunday, September 6 at 9:00 PM on STARZ.

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