‘Power Book 3: Raising Kanan’ cast talk series premiere and more

The stars of the 'Power' prequel say they hope to live up to the legacy of the show that inspired it all

Since 2014, the Starz drama Power starring Omari Hardwick as New York City club owner/drug kingpin Ghost along with his partner Tommy played by Joseph Sikora, has dominated TV screens with its epic stories and complex characters.

After the original show ended, it was announced that the Power saga will continue, with new sequels and prequels.

This Sunday, the highly anticipated prequel Power Book 3: Raising Kanan will make its debut. The show follows the life and childhood of the infamous Kanan Stark previously played Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, as he navigates growing up in Jamaica, Queens in the early ‘90s. 

Power thegrio.com
Mekai Curtis in “Power Book 3: Raising Kanan” (Starz)

The show stars Omar Epps, Joey Bada$$, Patina Miller, and Mekai Curtis in the titular role as Kanan Stark. Sascha Penn returns as creator and showrunner and will continue executive producing alongside Jackson and Courtney A. Kemp who co-produced the original series.

The Power legacy brings high expectations to the series success. TheGrio spoke exclusively with the cast to discuss some of the challenges of creating the prequel. 

“The pressure was having the continuity and the essence more so of the characters than the actual franchise itself,” stated Curtis, who believes the hardest part was making sure he lived up to the high standards set by Jackson, who originated the role of Stark.

But in regards to the show, he believes, rightfully so, that it is its own narrative. “Power Book 3 is kind of its own thing. Its own world essentially. Yes, you have Kanan and you have Jukebox who come over from Power. But you’re stepping into an entirely different era in New York.” 

Joey Bada$$ shared that as a huge Power fan, he jumped at the opportunity to audition. His role of Unique was a character he tried to shy away from earlier on in his acting career, but he’s excited to be able to put his spin on this character.

His only concern is that he hopes fans will embrace the show as much as he has.

“I just hope everyone is as excited as I am. That’s the only worry and downside if you can call it that.”

Legendary actor Epps is playing the shady Detective Howard.

When asked his thoughts on any expectations for the show, he believes there are none.

Power Book III: Raising Kanan Global Premiere Event And Screening In NYC
Mekai Curtis and 50 Cent attend ‘Power Book III: Raising Kanan’ global premiere event on July 15, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for STARZ)50 Cent

“I don’t think there are any expectations. It’s just a piece that I think the power in it is, that you know, we know who Kanan was and how he was the monster that he was,” Epps shared. “And this is kind of an exploration of humanity, to be honest with you. It’s like, how does someone, you know, evolve into being the character that we saw 50 play.”

As producer and creator of Power, Kemp shared that the more success you make there will always be added pressure. However, she credits her spirituality to having faith in the outcome.

“I spiritually believe that I am not in the results business. I do whatever it is that I can do to the best of my ability and then all of the results are up to God.” 

Power Book 3: Raising Kanan will air this Sunday, July 18 on Starz at 8 p.m. ET/PT. The show has already been picked up for a second season on the Starz Network. Watch the trailer below:

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