Power is one of the hottest shows on television and it returns for it’s third season on July 17 on STARZ. The cast, crew and some famous fans turned up at the SVA Theatre in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan to celebrate the premiere of Season 3 of the popular drama. Carmelo and Lala Anthony, Fabolous, Teyonah Parris of Survivor’s Remorse and cast members Joseph Sikora, Andy Beane, Luis Antonio Ramos and Lacy Walters were spotted enjoying the party and talking about the hit show.
Executive producer and co-star 50 Cent was also among those on-hand, along with stars Omari Hardwick and Lela Loren. The show’s creator Courtney A. Kemp credited the surge in television shows geared towards non-white viewers as nothing more than a pragmatic reaction to realizing the power of black and brown consumers.
“It’s not about any color other than green, people figured out we had money to spend,” said Kemp. “The Ed Sullivan effect is still there. We see ourselves on tv and we run [to it] and we have dispensable income. That allows people to subscribe to STARZ or buy products advertise on mainstream air. It’s just a lack of cynicism. Our dollars are just as strong [as anyone’s.]”
And 50 Cent had nothing but praise for how Kemp has managed the show creatively.
“I think the beauty of this project is how well Courtney paces herself with character information,” 50 explained. “It allows people to develop a passion and connection to the actual characters.”
Loren and Hardwick form the core of Power‘s major love triangle–alongside Naturi Naughton’s Tasha. After three seasons, she’s grown more comfortable with the show’s infamous sex scenes–but she still does things to lighten the sometimes-awkward shoots.
“Humor is the best thing to bring levity to the awkwardness,” she said. “At this point, there’s no embarrassment because everybody’s seen you every which way! But it’s still super awkward.”
Hardwick’s Ghost St. Patrick character has become one of the more compelling figures on television, and he recognizes that there wasn’t a black lead character on television quite like St. Patrick prior to Power.
“We grew up looking at William. H. Cosby and feeling a certain way,” he recalled. “I looked up to Denzel Washington in St. Elsewhere. [Television producer] Shonda Rhimes has a done a great job with black men—but not in this kind of light. Courtney and Curtis threw a great lob with this and if I was anything less than Shaquille O’Neal, I would suck by not dunking it. It was a lob! It was a great role and I was complex enough to play it.”
50 also joked that people view his character Kanaan as the villain without acknowledging how bad the alleged “good guy” on the show really is.
“People will say I’m the bad guy,” 50 said. “Kanaan is the bad guy and Ghost is the good guy. But if you put them next to each other; [Ghost’s] killed like eleven people!”