It's been a few minutes, but Tommy Egan is back.
Power Book IV: Force is the much-anticipated spinoff centered around the fan-favorite Egan, who was played to perfection by Joseph Sikora for six seasons on the flagship series.
With the premiere right around the corner, we got the chance to spend a few minutes talking to Joseph about the Tommy we'll meet in Chicago and which Power alum he would like to see in his new city.
When you heard that they were going to be doing this spinoff based around Tommy Egan, what was your initial reaction?
Joseph Sikora: I was really excited because just how we left Tommy Egan with kind of having nothing and everything taken away from him and really being kind of stripped of his hair.
I mean, he was Sampson with a haircut by the end of the Power Series, and I thought what an exciting place to see how this person rebuilds their life, especially when he's a fish out of water in a new city.
And Tommy, he suffered a lot of loss in his life. How do you think that pain and grief from all that loss inform the person we meet in Power Force?
Joseph Sikora: I think like all of us when we have somebody that we love and cherish who's another part that completes us in some capacity like Ghost for Tommy, that was his brother and then also Lakeisha. He saw a future with her, and that was taken away from him.
So, what is a person? How do we act when we lose somebody who's dear to us there? It really is a true hole in you. So how does that hole get filled? Is there a bomb that can take away the pain? And to live with that. I like exploring that side of Tommy and bringing that past with him into the present.
We as an audience, we probably feel like we know Tommy well, but I think that seeing him in a new place with a new group of people will bring forth, maybe some new sides to him.
So what are some things that you're hoping the audience learns about Tommy that perhaps they didn't get to see from him in the original Power Series?
Joseph Sikora: Well, we never saw him without a safety net. We always saw him with some sort of established history in there where he always had, at least he could pull this guy out of the corner, even if it was just a connection with the Jamaicans. Or Drifty out in New Jersey. Or back to Southside Jamaica to get some street soldiers.
Whether it was Spanky or Black Grimace or whoever it was, Julio, who always had his back, too. He always had these people in order; of course, his brother Ghost was there, and that was his sense of identity. We've never seen him all alone.
We've never seen him without his suit of armor on. And that suit of armor was the five boroughs of New York. This is a guy naked and exposed with only his guts and his wits about him.
And how does that person survive in a city that's as gritty and dangerous as New York, but you have to do it alone and brand new again. I think the audience is going to have a fun time coming with Tommy because Tommy, I think, was a very relatable character to a lot of people.
He struggled hard, he worked through adversity, he experienced incredible amounts of loss, and he was a big misfit. And I always describe, my wife and I always call Manhattan "The Island of Misfits." And I think Tommy really felt a part of as a misfit.
He belonged there. So how does he survive when everything is new and different, and it should be New York, but it's not, and people are not what they seem to him as well.
Through the evolution of the series, we'll find secrets about some of these new characters, and we'll be going, no, Tommy, no Tommy, no Tommy, maybe Tommy, is he losing sight of his gut? Is he letting new familial discoveries get in his way just like he did with Tony Teresi?
It's a really exciting season, and I can't wait for the fans to see it—especially the end. The finale is directed by the great film director Dion Taylor. It is exceptional and exciting, and I think it's going to have the fans demanding a season two immediately.
That's great. And you just touched on it a little bit, but family is such a central theme to Power in all the spinoffs. Can you talk a little bit about what that means to Tommy and how willing he is to create a new one now that he's left New York?
Joseph Sikora: Well, I think Tommy's always tried to set up and create a family. Even when we're introduced to Tommy, we're introduced to Tommy, kind of as a St. Patrick; that's an adopted family. Now Ghost and Tommy lived under the same roof since they were young and since Ghost's father passed away.
But then also there was always that bit of jealousy between the brothers because Ghost was the favorite son of Kate. Ghost always took care of her. Ghost is the one who bought her the house in Long Island.
It was all of those things that, now that Ghost is gone, Tommy has to discover that a lot of the things that he thought only Ghost was capable of is he is capable of and has been doing them himself for a long time too. So, there's that amount of discovery.
One of the things that I say about family is that the family we make is as important as the family that we choose. So, will Tommy be able to make a new family? I think that Tommy, for better or worse, is always looking for family.
And just like as he brought up Tony Teresi before, Tommy was blinded by desire to have a family, a true family, a blood family. We'll see what happens if any of that sparks up in this show. How much he's willing to sacrifice for the desire rather than the practicality of the family that he chooses.
Power is a phenomenon. People love Power, and people love Tommy.
Joseph Sikora: Great show.
Yeah! Was it ever at all surprising to you how invested the fans became in Tommy and the Power franchise as a whole?
Joseph Sikora: Maybe a little surprise. Maybe, I never really thought about it that much. I was just excited. I would say fun is my default. I love acting. I love having a job. I've been doing this for probably before you were born.
It's a luxury to get to work. It's weird. Being an actor is weird. There's an old expression that says, I forget who said it, but, "I don't get paid to act; I get paid to wait." There's a lot of waiting around on set. So, how do you occupy your time?
I do mine by researching and reading things I think are applicable to the character, listening to music that Tommy would listen to, having kind of a theme song in the back of your head for episodes.
There's all of these fun things that I've learned to do as an actor with all of these multiple incredible hundreds, upon thousands of hours on set, but it never gets old to me.
And there's always another aspect, something deeper to figure out and learn about Tommy Egan. I'm just grateful to get a chance to go even deeper with the character.
If there was one original Power character that you'd like to see come to Chicago that's still alive, is there anyone you could think of that you'd like to see there?
Joseph Sikora: I mean, there's actually so many of them, but the first one that comes to mind is Shane Johnson, who plays Cooper Saxe because that might be the end of it for Tommy.
Because somehow that guy, if everybody thinks Cooper Saxe is a cockroach, there'll be a nuclear explosion, and somehow Cooper Saxe would be crawling out of the dumpster somewhere. And Shane Johnson is also, I think, an exceptional actor and a great human being. So maybe Cooper Saxe.
Is there anything you can tease for us about this first season? Maybe describe it using a couple of words.
Joseph Sikora: Well, I can describe it in three words. Jeremih, 50 Cent, and Lil Durk should carry that for me, and it's "Power Powder Respect." And I think that the theme song encapsulates the real theme of this show. I think almost the true title is within the theme song right there.
So that's what I would say the fans get to look forward to. Keep thinking of those three words, and you'll be satisfied.
We'll be thinking about those words as we get ready for this highly anticipated spinoff!
You can catch Power Book IV: Force when it premieres on February 6th, 2022, at 9:15 pm ET. And you can join us here at TV Fanatic all season long as we cover the series weekly.
***This interview has been edited for length and clarity.***
Whitney Evans is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.