*In Starz’s new drama “Power Book III: Raising Kanan,” debuting this weekend, MeKai Curtis plays the role of a young Kanan Stark. He’s the teenage version of Kanan, the origin story of Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson’s character from “Power.”
As viewers will see, and as MeKai Curtis says, there’s “stark difference” in the character 50 Cent played and the younger version of Kanan he’s now portraying in the prequel.
“It’s a story about a son’s love for his mother, and a mother’s love for her son and what they’re willing to do for each other, which in this case happens to be anything,” Curtis said at the virtual press junket for the series, reports UrbanHollywood411. “That’s the immediate difference, like the immediate stark difference, just in the two characters.”
The setting for the prequel is 1990s South Jamaica, Queens, New York. Kanan’s character is just 15 years-old when he kills a street-drug dealer which becomes his entre into to the drug game.
In “Raising Kanan,” the young killer is the son of Raquel “Raq” Thomas (Tony Award-winning actress and singer Patina Miller). Simply put, Raquel is determined to grow her cocaine distribution business and refuses to let anyone or anything get in the way. Young Kanan is impressed by his mom’s power and influence and wants to emulate her.
Here’s more via UrbanHollywood411:
MeKai, 20 previously had roles on the television series Arrested Development, Girl Meets World, and Disney XD’s Kirby Buckets, but Kanan Stark is far from a Disney character.
To prepare for his new role, Mekai said he drew inspiration from 50 Cent.
“There was a lot of just watching Power and watching 50 Cent interviews and that was to just try to capture his essence, try to capture some of the things he did with that character, and also try to channel some of 50’s mechanics,” the actor explained.
Young Kanan is encouraged to pursue an education in the prequel series, but he has other plans and wants in on the drug business.
“You get to go on this journey with him in experience,” MeKai said. “It’s a story about his environment and his influences and the choices he makes.”
“A lot of things [in the series] were taken from my personal life and put into the show,” according to 50 Cent, but, with “Sascha Penn as the [executive producer], writer and showrunner, it was to his discretion what went in, and what did not go in … but it is loosely based on me. There’s something that’s grounded in South Jamaica, so they needed to know what it was like then.”
“I feel like my mother’s looking down and smiling at me right now, absolutely … my mother was strongest person in my life,” added the rapper/actor/producer whose mother was killed when he only 8 years old.
“Power Book III: Raising Kanan,“ premiering this weekend and now streaming on Starz, also stars Omar Epps, London Brown, Malcolm Mays, Hailey Kilgore, Joey Bada$$, Toby Sandeman, Shanley Caswell, and Antonio Ortiz.