Mary J. Blige, Method Man, Michael Rainey Jr. talk about their characters’ emotional arcs in Season 3 of ‘Power Book II: Ghost’

TheGrio's Nayo Campbell caught up with the cast of the popular series ahead of the third season premiere.

“Power Book II: Ghost” returns this week for its highly anticipated third season and fans are excited to see how the characters will handle the aftermath of the Season 2 finale, which chronicled the deaths of prominent characters. In an interview with TheGrio, several cast members discussed their characters and what viewers can expect this season.

Mary J. Blige (second from far left) and other “Power Book II: Ghost” cast members. (Photo Credit: Starz)

Michael Rainey Jr., who plays Tariq, spoke about his long-standing character’s growth and evolution. “Just knowing that they took this chance with me, believed in me, and gave me a lot more material than what I started with — going from being a season regular to now being No. 1 on the show is honestly insane,” said the actor, who appeared in the “Power” universe’s original series from 2014 to 2020. 

Tariq is dealing with a lot this season as he navigates his relationships and battles the wounds that his late father Ghost left. “It’s a crazy dynamic for Tariq because he doesn’t really know what’s going on,” said Rainey Jr.  “Obviously, he is still fighting the fact that he doesn’t want to be like his father. But he is still doing stuff and everything that he does pushes him closer and closer to being like his dad.”

Rainey Jr. said his character is also dealing with one of life’s fundamental issues. Tariq is trying to “trust in the people around him,” but the character isn’t sure if that will be a good or bad thing. “He is trying to move a little bit differently … and you’ll see where that gets him.”

Mary J. Blige plays another key character (queenpin Monet Tejada). The Grammy-winning singer spoke about Monet’s emotional struggles as the character deals with the death of her nephew/son, Ezekiel “Zeke” Cross. “She’s grieving. Zeke was her baby and he actually knew that’s what he was before he died and she is upset because he was her exit strategy out of the gang. So she is distraught.” 

Blige revealed that she tapped into her own personal experiences to convey Monet’s grief. “I had to draw from those places — those real places to give her the sadness like something was taken away from her. A lot of things were taken away from me in my real life. People trying to strip me of my dignity, my pride, myself and so I had to make her experience that pain,” Blige said, noting that while it was hard going to those places again, she is a stronger person and actor because of it. 

Three-time NAACP Image Award recipient Method Man, who plays criminal defense attorney Davis Maclean, remarked on how impressed he is with how the series’ writers took on Davis’ progression. “For them to even find time to have an emotional or a great arc for this character is just a testament to their work ethic and them trusting me enough to say, ‘Alright, we are going to give you this emotional baggage to carry. Hopefully, you are strong enough to do it’,” said the rapper-turned-actor. 

The new season of “Power Book II: Ghost” premieres at 9 p.m. ET Friday on Starz. To join the conversation, be sure to follow the series’ accounts on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook as well as the hashtags #PowerGhost #PowerTV and #STARZ. 

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