How to Get Cast on Starz’s ‘Power’ Franchise

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Photo Source: Courtesy Starz

Though the original “Power” series aired its last episode in February 2020, that was far from the end for the Starz franchise. Creator Courtney A. Kemp’s hit went on to spawn three spinoffs: “Power Book II: Ghost,” “Power Book III: Raising Kanan,” and “Power Book IV: Force.” (An announced fourth, “Power Book V: Influence,” was canceled earlier this year.) Now, the franchise is celebrating its 10th anniversary with the fourth season of “Power Book II: Ghost,” which premieres on June 7. 

Want to know what it takes to land a spot in the ensemble of a “Power” series? We have all the info you need to make your own power move, from casting insights to audition advice.

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What is the “Power” franchise about?

“Power,” which ran from 2014 to 2020, follows James “Ghost” St. Patrick (Omari Hardwick), the owner of one of the hottest nightclubs in New York City that serves as a front for an elite drug-dealing operation. Though Ghost has every intention of leaving the criminal life behind, a failing marriage and shifting alliances mean that he has to do what he can to survive.

Kemp’s “Power Book II: Ghost,” which premiered in 2020, centers on Ghost’s son, Tariq St. Patrick (Michael Rainey Jr.), as he establishes his own drug operation. Tariq soon finds himself involved with the dangerous Tejada family, putting the safety of him and his loved ones on the line.

Next came Sascha Penn’s “Power Book III: Raising Kanan” (2021), a prequel set in the early ’90s that follows a younger version of “Power” character Kanan Stark (Mekai Curtis)—played by 50 Cent in the original series—as he rises through the ranks of the drug world. 

Robert Munic’s “Power Book IV: Force” (2022) centers on Ghost’s former business partner, Tommy Egan (Joseph Sikora), as he trades New York for Chicago and goes on to become one of the Windy City’s biggest drug kingpins.

Who’s in the cast of the “Power” franchise?

“Power”:

  • Omari Hardwick as James “Ghost” St. Patrick
  • 50 Cent as Kanan Stark
  • Naturi Naughton as Tasha St. Patrick
  • Joseph Sikora as Tommy Egan
  • Lela Loren as Angela Valdes
  • Shane Johnson as Cooper Saxe
  • Rotimi as Dre
  • Michael Rainey Jr. as Tariq St. Patrick
  • Jerry Ferrara as Joe Proctor
  • La La Anthony as Lakeisha Grant
  • Larenz Tate as Councilman Rashad Tate
  • J.R. Ramirez as Julio
  • Michael J. Ferguson as 2-Bit

Power

“Power Book II: Ghost”: 

  • Michael Rainey Jr. as Tariq St. Patrick
  • Shane Johnson as Cooper Saxe
  • Gianni Paolo as Brayden Weston
  • Melanie Liburd as Caridad “Carrie” Milgram
  • Lovell Adams-Gray as Dru Tejada
  • Daniel Bellomy as Ezekiel “Zeke” Cross
  • Paige Hurd as Lauren Baldwin
  • Woody McClain as Cane Tejada
  • Method Man as Davis Maclean
  • LaToya Tonodeo as Diana Tejada
  • Mary J. Blige as Monet Tejada 
  • Alix Lapri as Effie
  • Paton Ashbrook as Jenny Sullivan
  • LightSkinKeisha as Brushaundria Carmichael
  • Berto Colon as Lorenzo Tejada

Power Book II

“Power Book III: Raising Kanan”: 

  • Mekai Curtis as Kanan Stark
  • Patina Miller as Raquel Thomas
  • London Brown as Marvin
  • Malcolm M. Mays as Lou-Lou
  • Joey Bada$$ as Unique
  • Shanley Caswell as Burke
  • Hailey Kilgore as Jukebox
  • Toby Sandeman as Symphony Bosket
  • Lovie Simone as Davina Harrison
  • Omar Epps as Detective Malcolm Howard
  • Antonio Ortiz as  Shawn “Famous” Figueroa 

Power Book III

“Power Book IV: Force”:

  • Joseph Sikora as Tommy Egan
  • Lucien Cambric as Darnell “D-Mac” McDowell
  • Anthony Fleming III as JP Gibbs
  • Shane Harper as Vic Flynn
  • Isaac Keys as Diamond
  • Kris D. Lofton as Jenard Sampson
  • Lili Simmons as Claudia “Claud” Flynn
  • Tommy Flanagan as Walter Flynn
  • Guy Van Swearingen as Paulie “Pierogi” Muzaski
  • Brian Keys as Special Agent Edgar Vargas

Power Book IV

Who are the casting directors for the “Power” franchise?

Christine Kromer (“Poker Face,” “True Detective”) was the primary CD for “Power,” and she cast “Power Book II: Ghost” alongside Billy Hopkins and Ashley Ingram (“The Wonder Years,” “P-Valley”). Rori Bergman (“The Americans,” “Run the World”) is the main CD behind “Power Book III: Raising Kanan,” and Tamara-Lee Notcutt (“To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before,” “The Buccaneers”) put together the ensemble of “Power Book IV: Force.”

How does the casting process work for the “Power” franchise?

Kromer says she looks for actors “who can keep up with the cast that is coming together.” She told us that she wants to see “an actor who owns the part, whether it’s one line or a series lead. Even if they’re not right for it, if they make it theirs and come in with a breath of fresh air to it, I can see their talent and keep them in mind for something else. 

“I think that, as an actor, to stress about booking every job is overthinking it,” she continued. “It’s all about timing. And people get bummed if they don’t book every role, but that’s sort of impossible. All you can do as an actor is really try to build a fanbase of CDs and directors you’ve worked with and other actors and producers and writers. It’s much more important to do a good job than to stress about whether you actually get it.”

Kromer promises performers “a good time” when they’re auditioning for her. “I really like actors to know that the time they’re in my room is theirs,” she said. “I’m very open to answering questions; I’m very open to working on it a couple of times if they’re having a moment. 

“A lot of people get so nervous, and I really want to make sure they know that coming in for me is going to be fun and warm, and I’m on their side,” she added. “Auditioning is very difficult and very stressful, and I’ve heard horror stories from many people that I would never, ever imagine doing to someone. I just want people to come in a little nervous but leave happy.”

The CD believes that it’s vital for actors to be flexible in the room. “I would say the biggest no-no is to not be open to direction. I have had people get really defensive about their choices, and I’m there to try to help them get a job. Any direction or type of feedback you’re getting in the room is because we like you; it’s not because you’ve done something wrong,” she said. 

“The other thing I’ve seen that is a no-no is being hours late with a lame excuse,” she continued. “My favorite line was, ‘But I thought it was a suggested time,’ when they were three hours late for an audition. Be a real human beyond being an actor. It’s the same way you’d treat any other appointment: Be on time, have your stuff ready, and once you’re in the room, have fun.”

Power Book II

 

Which “Power” spinoffs are currently filming?

“Raising Kanan,” which was renewed for a fifth season in March, filmed most of Season 4 in early spring in NYC. According to Screen Magazine, “Force” was filming its third season in Chicago that same month. 

Since the upcoming season of “Ghost” will be its last, it’s no longer shooting. But there’s no need to be upset: In March, Starz greenlit another spinoff, tentatively called “Origins,” which will explore the early days of Ghost and Tommy’s partnership.

Raising Kanan

Where can I find “Power” casting calls?

There are no current audition notices for any series in the franchise. In March, “Force” was casting background talent in Chicago. The team was looking for female background talent, aged 21–35, as well as male and female talent, aged 21–45.  

In the meantime, it’s a good idea to bookmark our main casting page for the latest available auditions, as “Raising Kanan” has posted audition notices on Backstage in the past. You can also peruse our guide on how to audition for Starz for more advice.

Power Book IV

What are the best audition tips for landing a role on a show in the “Power” franchise?

Make connections. “Having a good relationship with everyone on set is so important when it comes to making TV shows and movies, because if you have a great relationship with everyone, nothing can really go wrong,” Rainey Jr. told us.

“One of the things that 50 [Cent] told me—this was [during] Season 3, when Tariq and Kanan first started hanging out in the show, so me and 50 would have a lot of scenes together…. So we were in the trailer one day, and we were just chatting it up. One thing he told me that always stuck with me was, ‘Never feel too entitled to something, because that’s when you deprive yourself.’ ”

Keep showing up. Kilgore, who plays Jukebox on “Raising Kanan,” told us that she “still gets butterflies” at auditions, but she tries her best to overcome them. “The first thing is: You start doing so many auditions [that you] get used to it. And you’ll see familiar faces, and they just want to book the role. Remember—that can be you. The most important thing you can do is show up and be prepared. Show them what you’ll do with the role when you’re given the opportunity; and when you do that, you’ll be less nervous—I promise.

“Actor to actor, you’re in the right place. I’m very insecure; I get nervous; I care about my performance,” she added. “It’s so important to treat yourself with care and speak to yourself lovingly. Just do the work; that’s all you can do. A lot of actors are insecure and just want to do a good job. It’s normal; it’s all love; you got this.”

“It’s very easy to get sucked into the highlight reel of Instagram or press releases; [but] it’s not important,” she continued. “It’s about you, your heart, and what you bring to the table. I have to remind myself of it sometimes. I’m sure Barbra Streisand has to remind herself of it, too.”

Consider your character’s emotions. “Acting is reacting. Acting is being,” Curtis wrote in Backstage. “After identifying the character’s goal and motivation to do so, the choice of how that character feels is deeply rooted in reaction. How does that character respond to all things previously considered? It all depends.

“The legend Bill Duke says, ‘Acting is becoming.’ That’s my technique; to ‘become’ means to transform,” he continued. “When I’m acting, I am considering the character’s goals and experiences. I imagine the…events as if they were happening to me, and [I think about] how I would respond if I were to turn into this character and feel these raw emotions.”

Looking for remote work? Backstage has got you covered! Click here for auditions you can do from home!

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