Larenz Tate has delivered a deliciously ruthless performance as Councilman Rashad Tate in 50 Cent’s Power franchise, but the actor admits he ‘wasn’t really sure’ about the role at first.
The Love Jones actor first played the scheming politician in the main Power franchise, which ended last year.
He’s making a return as a series regular in spin-off Power Book II: Ghost season two, this time going up against Ghost’s son Tariq, played by Michael Rainey Jr.
Larenz, 46, has earned praise for his turn as Rashad – a charismatic politician by day and merciless schemer by night – but the actor had doubts about the character at first.
Speaking to VELOXNEWS.com, he explained: ‘I’ve kind of fallen in love with this character, I wasn’t really sure early on playing a politician but the Power series really just allowed me to find my way and do my thing and they begin to write for that…
‘I can’t always play the nice guy or the good guy so how can I play a guy who I believe is deep down good but is faced with making unpopular decisions. Being in politics, there are decisions that are often unpopular but on a level that can change the trajectory of his life and the people around him.’
He added: ‘It’s always nice to be able to go into that and leave my world and who I am and what I’m about and go and live as that person.’
Rashad will be getting a deeper character exploration in Ghost season two, with Larenz teasing his political agenda and morals.
‘You already know there’s nothing that’s going to stop Rashad Tate to get to his agenda,’ he hinted.
‘There’s going to be some roadblocks, whether he gets through them or not you’ll all be able to see.
‘When it really hits home we look at the ethical side of things. These are really good people who are in bad situations that would call for them to do bad things.’
He added of Rashad: ‘It’s fantastic, the character is able to do his thing in a whole new world, a younger demographic, it’s just a joy to go to work and deal with the kind of writing that is seamless. This is just goodness all the time, the writing on the show is really second to none.
‘50 Cent, the boss man, they really celebrate us and so when you have that freedom and space to really lean in what you love to do, it’s gratifying.’
Speaking of the ‘boss man’, Larenz praised 50 Cent for creating, not only the Power franchise, but a growing and successful TV empire that takes back the narrative of Black stories.
The actor said: ‘He to me is a giant and he has been able to prove time and time again that when he sets his mind to do something, he can get it done but at the level – it’s quality.
‘This universe that he and Courtney [Kemp] has created may seem on the outside is this Marvel world of drug dealing, but that’s just the surface. When you think about the shows he’s producing it goes so much further of what he’s doing with this underworld. It’s about family, relationships, trust and deceit.
‘He’s earned the trust of those who can allow these stories to be told.
‘Hopefully, it sets a precedent for more storytelling specifically in the Black community that we can tell stories that are not monolithic.’
Larenz continued: ‘It has a lot to do with race, we have been marginalised for so long and there have been communities who have pretty much told our stories for us. But now we can tell our authentic truth and dispel some of the stereotypes.
‘What makes it a stereotype is when you don’t make it human. When you are dealing with the outside and not willing to deal with people’s humanity.’
Power Book II: Ghost is available to watch on Starz via Amazon Prime Video.
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