Long live Mecca/Dante.
If you haven't seen Power Book II: Ghost Season 2 Episode 10, then you'll be heavily spoiled by this interview, as we got a chance to speak with Daniel Sunjata about his character during the second season of the hit series.
We asked Daniel about how much he knew about Mecca's fate, what he thinks could be next for Tejada's, and what he'd like to say to the loyal Team Mecca fans out there.
Hi, Daniel. How are you?
Daniel Sunjata: I'm doing great. How are you today?
I'm great, thank you. I want to say, first off, I really enjoyed Mecca this season. I thought he was a great addition to the show, and you did a great job with the character.
Daniel Sunjata: Thank you.
Did you know heading into the season that Mecca was not going to be long for the Power world?
Daniel Sunjata: Yes, I knew. I knew. I didn't know for sure, but the intimations that I got from Courtney Kemp when she described the arc of Mecca, Mecca's arc over the course of the season, it was pretty clear that something bad was going to happen, probably in the last episode.
That was all good. I got to go out in a blaze of glory.
Daniel Sunjata: It's good TV, I think.
I agree. I know when I got a chance to speak with you on press day late last year, you mentioned that you were a huge fan of the show. What was your reaction to finding out that Mecca/Dante played such a pivotal role in the original series with Ghost and Tommy and everyone?
Daniel Sunjata: That was awesome. It was so cool that they tied my storyline into the flagship show, that I had something to do with Lobos and Ghost getting killed. That was great. It amplified the relevance of the character of Mecca and took it outside of the show Ghost, and tied it back into the original show.
That was fantastic.
Yeah. One of my favorite scenes of the whole season was that confrontation between Dante and Tariq.
Daniel Sunjata: Oh, yeah.
How fun was filming that scene, getting to act with Michael, and knowing it was going to blow people's minds?
Daniel Sunjata: I was a little nervous that day because I had met Michael, but he and I had never had a scene together, and this is his show, so I wanted to be good.
Yeah, when I got that script, and I saw the content of the script, the content of that scene, I was like, "Oh, my God, the fans are going to go nuts when they find out he's a snitch. He's been a snitch the entire time."
What was funny about that is to go back to Episode 1 of Season 2 when Mecca is introduced, walking down the alley with Lil' Guap and Cane. Cane literally says, "You smell like a narc."
Daniel Sunjata: It's like, wow, you know? Always go with your gut instinct. Always go with your gut instinct.
Yeah, that was funny. Dante seemed primarily motivated by his love for Monet above all else. Do you think that was ultimately his downfall?
Daniel Sunjata: I don't know if it's his love for Monet that was his downfall. It was the fact that he pulled out all the stops. There was nothing he wasn't willing to do. In a certain sense, that's like, "Oh, wow, he loves her so much," but I think that what ended up happening to him happened as a direct result of his own actions.
That's the definition. This is not Shakespeare, what we're doing, but the definition of a tragedy or a tragic flaw of character. That his tragic flaw was his full commitment to his ambition and what he wanted to get.
He couldn't have turned out any other way. That's why it's tragic. It was like this was just how it was going to go, but he was full-throttle, though. Mecca was full-throttle. You know, all the gas. He was like, "Let's go."
He was. He was pretty relentless at certain points.
Daniel Sunjata: Yeah. Yep, yep.
At the beginning of the season, we saw Monet, and it seemed like she was slowly giving in to those old feelings that she once had for Dante, but then Lorenzo's return really put a squash on that, and she ultimately chose her children over pursuing things further with Dante. Do you think that was the right decision for her?
Daniel Sunjata: Of course. Of course, it was. I mean, I guess time will tell, in terms of her relationship with Lorenzo, obviously is going to continue to be texturized and developed over the course of Season 3 and, hopefully for them, Season 4, 5, and 6. Time will tell how their relationship ends up.
Even if she had acquiesced to Dante/Mecca's desires, his agenda, she would've found stuff out eventually. She would've felt used. She would've felt played.
They would've been fugitives on the run, flying in private jets, driving nice cars and all that, trust funds set up for all the kids, but I don't know if she would've ultimately been happy with Mecca. I guess we'll never know.
Yeah. As a fan of the show, seeing that ending with both Dante and Zeke meeting their demise, where do you think you see things heading next for the Tejada's?
Daniel Sunjata: Honestly, I have no clue. I wish that I had a cool answer for that. I really have no clue. I can't wait to see Season 3, and hopefully, hopefully, the fans feel the same way. I think we delivered a very strong second season of the show, and the writers could go in any direction.
Who knows what they're going to do? I can't call it, but you know what? The Tejada family, man, they roll deep. They have a broad skill set when you consider everybody involved. You've got Cane, you've got Monet, you've got Diana, you've got Dru, and then, of course, Lorenzo. Who knows?
I think the death of Zeke, though, is going to be very impactful. That's a depth charge, right there. That was crazy. I didn't even see that coming. I didn't even know that was going to happen 'til I saw the final script.
I was like, "Oh, my God. That's Zeke, yeah. He's gone." Yeah, I think Monet's going to have a real problem with that one.
Yeah. That's a big game-changer. Is there anything you wish you'd gotten to do on the show that you weren't able to?
Daniel Sunjata: Yeah. I was hoping that there would be a big showdown confrontation between Mecca and Lorenzo, so what I was imagining.
I'm taking you back to Episode 5, and I was like, "Oh, man." Episode 6 and 7, I'm like, "Oh, they're on a collision course." I was thinking we were going to have a big fight scene, like in Fast & Furious between The Rock and Vin Diesel.
I thought it was going to start out as a street war where we are sending our soldiers against each other, and that we would finally come head to head and have this...you know, two baldheaded light-skinned guys just going for broke.
When I asked why that wasn't going to happen, the response that I got was that then it would be about us, and it would not be about Monet. The reason why Monet had to take Mecca out is because she was taking agency over her life and making a decision, and it's about her. It's not about the guys.
I was like, "Actually, that's cool. That's good storytelling." But if I had a magic wand, maybe we could have done both. We could have had the fight. We could have had the big showdown, and then Monet could have showed up and killed Mecca, right when he was about to kill Lorenzo or something like that.
It makes sense when you put it out like that. I can see where they were coming from.
Daniel Sunjata: For sure.
There are a lot of Team Mecca/Dante fans out there who are going to be upset by his death. Do you have anything you'd like to say to the fans?
Daniel Sunjata: Oh, just that I appreciate their support throughout the season. If that's true, if there's a Team Mecca out there, a Team Dante-
Oh, for sure!
Daniel Sunjata: Well, then that must mean I did something right. I was just trying to show up. I tried to show up every day, be prepared, and serve the telling of the story. I will say he was a super fun character to play, and I miss him.
I've never been cast in a role like that. I very rarely get to play a bad guy, you know what I mean, and they humanized him. He was a bad guy, but he had good...I wouldn't say he had good intentions. In his own weird way, he did, though, so you could sympathize with him.
It was a great opportunity for me. I can't thank Starz network; I can't thank 50 Cent, Courtney Kemp, and all the rest, enough. I can't over esteem how much this opportunity meant to me. It was fantastic.
He was very, very layered. Again, you did a great job with the role. It was a lot of fun seeing you. I appreciate you taking the time for this interview today.
Daniel Sunjata: Of course. Any time. Thank you so much.
We'll miss Mecca! But Power Book II: Ghost will be back for a third outing, and we can't wait to see where the story goes next.
Whitney Evans is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.