Power universe expands with spinoff. Star Naturi Naughton speaks to City Times
First Power offshoot 'Power Book II: Ghost' streaming in MENA on September 7
Fans of Power, the gritty crime-drama, who have been eagerly waiting to rejoin Tasha (Naturi Naughton) and Tariq (Michael Rainey Jr.), in navigating the criminal underworld, will be delighted to know that the next chapter in the Power universe - 'Power Book II: Ghost' is set to premiere on streaming service StarzPlay in the MENA region on September 7.
The popular series wrapped up its sixth and final season in February. Now the first of the four planned spinoffs of the flagship TV show will be available for fans to enjoy the same time as the US.
Actor Naughton who plays Tasha St. Patrick - lead character Ghost's (Omari Hardwick) wife - exclusively spoke to City Times about the project.
Could you describe where we find Tasha at the start of Power Book II: Ghost and some of the challenges she faces.
She's in jail! As many of you have seen at the end of last season. Tasha goes down for the murder of Ghost. And so when you start this, it literally picks up 48 hours after she has been incarcerated. She is so broken. She had to leave her children. She's scared and I think initially just confused in how she's going to get out of this one.
Not only is Tasha dealing with jail away from her son Tariq, what is her mindset in relation to losing Ghost?
Losing Ghost doesn't really hit her until a little later. Tasha really loved this man. Tasha spent years in a marriage with this man. Tasha has three children, although one of them has been killed, with this man. So we've gone through a lot together. It is tragic. And it makes for good TV, but I think Tasha is just like 'oh my gosh, I've not only lost my freedom, I lost the man that I married.'
Can you tease something that could happen in Power Book II: Ghost?
I don't want to give any spoilers, but, somehow people find love wherever they go. This time Ghost is not there to kill them or Ghost is not around to set them up or Kanan (Curtis Jackson) is not around to shoot them. At this point, I think anything could happen, but I would say that if Tasha gets romantically involved it's going to be with purpose, because right now her sole focus is making sure Tariq is safe.
Let's talk about new faces. What was your reaction when you heard Mary J. bilge was cast?
I was so excited. Mary J. Blige is a legend. She's killing it on our show. She brings that strong female queen-like energy. But she's so humble and super ready to work. I think because she comes from music, she's stepped into acting in a real way, in a serious way. The industry is always trying to put limitations on artists and she's out of the box and refuses to be limited.
What is it like to be part of a show that allows you to embrace all of your artistic talents?
For me as a singer, I came into this show and the character of Tasha didn't always sing or have a dream of being a singer. They incorporated that.
How has it been for you as an artist to play such a rich role and extend this character's story?
It really is an amazing feeling. A lot of people only see the good. They don't realise how much work goes into it. I'm also a mother of a two-year-old. It takes work. So when I reflect that I get to play such a rich character it makes the work just a little bit easier. We're shooting in the middle of Brooklyn: it's freezing cold in the middle of the winter. I am reminded though that I get to live my dreams.
What is your message for die hard fans who have spinoff nerves?
People are always a little leery when there's something new. People always get a little like 'hmm, that ain't my show. Bring back my Power. Hashtag Power Never Ends.' People, breathe. It's going to be okay. We can't stay in one spot. We're still the same team, so you can expect the same quality. You can expect the same drama and the same crazy storylines. New and old characters might pop up on you. Don't think that they won't. This is just really taking the world of Power a step further. It's the next chapter, but we still in the same book.