Power Book IV: Force Cast Talks Excitement For Series Premiere

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When we check back in with Tommy Egan, he's going to be in a new city and surrounded by a group of people who are new to the Power Universe.

But they come in ready to make their presence known right away.

TV Fanatic was lucky enough to chat with several stars from Power Book IV: Force, including Lili Simmons, Tommy Flannagan, Gabrielle Ryan, and Shane Harper, who give us a glimpse into their characters, what family means in this universe, and what to expect from the inaugural season.

Walter Flynn - Power Book IV: Force Season 1 Episode 1

Even though we're familiar with Tommy, we'll be meeting the rest of the characters for the first time.

Flynn patriarch, Walter, is played by venerable actor Tommy Flannagan, who described his boss man as, "Head of the most powerful family in Chicago, and has been for 30 years. So, he obviously knows what the hell he's doing. And he ain't making it safe for nobody. And I think he welcomes whatever Tommy Egan brings to Chicago.

"I think he wants a big excitement.

"So yeah, Walter is old school and tough as nails and also very sweet and kind as well in some ways. Somewhere, somewhere in there. There's love."

Shane Harper portrays Vic Flynn, who is very much his father's son, though he's got some personal things going on when we meet him for the first time. Harper explained, "We pick up with Vic trying to vie for the attention and the affection of the love of his life. Gloria is not quite ready to get back together. That's what he wants.

Talking With Claudia - Power Book IV: Force Season 1 Episode 1

"But Vic is heir apparent to the Flynn family dynasty; they're heavy hitters in Chicago. And he kind of grew up with a silver spoon situation with his outlook on life, so he can be a bit of a brat. But I think he's got determination and grit.

"He does. And he is a little reckless, and he's a very fun character to play. But I think the most important thing for Vic is making this relationship work, so he's going to see if he can have it all. I'm not sure he can, but he's going to try."

Vic's ex, Gloria, is played to perfection by Gabrielle Ryan. Regarding who Gloria is, Ryan told us, "When we meet Gloria initially, she's literally in her bar, and she's in this on-off relationship with Victor Flynn that's already complicated.

And then enter Tommy, and that complicates things even more. She's a feisty, determined woman. She's fearless, she's in this world with all these very powerful, sometimes dangerous men, and it doesn't phase her. She can handle her own. And yeah, her storyline is an awesome journey."

The other member of the Flynn family is Claudia, who is trying to find her place in the male-dominated drug world. Simmons explained, "I play Claudia Flynn, who is part of the big, beautiful, powerful Flynn family. She's the daughter of Walter Flynn, who is the kingpin of Chicago. She's a strong, complex character.

Siblings Chat - Power Book IV: Force Season 1 Episode 1

"She's continuously frustrated with not being able to do what she's meant to do. Her father's stuck in his old ways. And she wants to show him and prove to him that she's the right heir to the throne. She loves her family, loyal to a T, but she's starting to look at other outlets to see how she can prove to him that she's it, she's the one."

Like all of the Power Universe, family is at the center of many storylines. And the Flynn family figures to be a significant player in this story.

When it comes to Vic, Harper discussed what family means to him and how it informs who he is, stating, "I think there's such a family dynamic. And by the way, too, Lili Simmons and Flanagan, Tommy Flanagan, they were so wonderful to work with. And we had a real natural family dynamic in real life, got along really well, all of us.

"And it was fun because what we were exploring all season was another family. And family should love each other and have each other's back. But in this family, it could be different sometimes. And sometimes, your actual blood family might not be the people that you can trust. Maybe it's someone else that's a friend.

"Maybe they're more family than you would even consider your own blood. And that's a real question of betrayal and loyalty and trust. And I'm hoping that Vic will be able to trust his sister and trust his dad. But maybe not. That is the question and the tension that the show kind of lives within family."

Talking To Dad - Power Book IV: Force Season 1 Episode 1

And that tension could be thick within the Flynn family.

When asked what drives Vic Flynn, Flanagan remarked, "Just keeping the crown, you know what I mean? He's worked hard to get what he has, and he has stepped on a lot of people and spilled a lot of blood.

"He ain't stepping aside for anyone. And I think he believes he's immortal. He smokes and drinks like crazy, stands in front of guns and bullets, whatever. He's fearless, I think. But yeah, I'll let the story tell the rest."

Meanwhile, Simmons explained that Claudia, "Wants recognition for what she can do. I think she wants it from her father. I think she wants it from Chicago. I think she wants to take over Chicago, and I think she can."

The Power Universe is full of a rich slate of powerful women from Angela to Tasha and Raq. For Simmons and Ryan, that was something that drew them to the roles of Claudia and Gloria.

"I want to be Claudia in real life," Simmons told us. "She is such a badass, and she's not afraid to stand up for herself even after she's been rejected 200 million times or put down because she knows that she can do this.

"And so it was fun to step into this role because I got to do that knowing what the outcome was, because I read the script, right?

"So, there's something amazing in that in a way, but yeah, just living in my own power and strength and trusting myself. I think I know I need that a lot more in real life, and I think all of us women might need it too."

For her part, Ryan remarked, "And you know, as Lily Simmons and I representing on the show playing Claudia and Gloria, they're both, as you see, very powerful and amazing women that really don't take anything from anybody. They're both very strong, both fearless, but in very different ways.

"Gloria's super determined. She's got this goal to come out from under the Flynn family, and she's not going to let anything get in her way. And she doesn't need a man. She's not taking Vic back with open arms. She's focused on what she's doing.

Gloria At Work - Power Book IV: Force Season 1 Episode 1

"So yeah, of course, that's what drew me to the role. But the women in power are awesome in all the spinoffs and all the iterations in the original seasons as well. Sometimes we need a kick in the butt."

When asked about their familiarity with the juggernaut that is Power, everyone had varying degrees of knowledge about the previous series. Still, all were well aware of what a phenomenon it was.

Flanagan replied, "Well, 50 has a machine of this whole thing that he's put together, him and Courtney. It's huge, and it was always on a peripheral for me. I always knew it was there, but I never really immersed myself in the world.

"And then I started the show. I don't want to because I wanted to get to know Tommy Egan. Walter wants to get to know Tommy Egan as a stranger in my Head. But now that we've completed a season, now I have really stuck myself in the Power world. It's incredible. I mean, the Method Man, I loved him for the start. He's phenomenal.

"There are so many great, great characters that have come out of this universe, and we get to play brand new ones. And it's very exciting. Very exciting."

Tending Bar - Power Book IV: Force Season 1 Episode 1

Simmons responded, "I had always heard about it. It was on my list of things to watch. I already knew and loved Joseph Sikora. He and I actually worked on two different projects but didn't get to work with each other. We knew of each other, and I loved his work.

"So, when this came along, the audition came along, I got really excited, one for the character and one Joseph and three, I was like, "I have to watch one episode just to see what the world is." And then I just binged the whole thing.

"It is so wonderful. Yeah. And just so lucky and grateful to be a part of this universe and on the Tommy show."

Ryan stated, "I was definitely a super fan. And I was definitely a Tommy fan. He was my absolute favorite from the beginning. So, when I knew this spinoff was happening, I was like, "This is the one." It's just amazing to be part of it."

While Harper replied, "We're all fans first, absolutely. And more importantly, I think for us, it really means a lot that we're on this particular spinoff because there are so many, and the show is so successful in so many avenues. And I think for us, it just makes it kind of extra special that we are on the Tommy Show.

Somber Vic - Power Book IV: Force Season 1 Episode 1

"Everyone calls it the Tommy Show."

With Ryan adding, "It's a real testament to Joseph Sikora and what he's done with this character. The Tommy Egan character is a hit. The Tommy Egan character itself is a cultural phenomenon."

Getting out of New York for the first time, Power Book IV: Force makes terrific use of Chicago as its new backdrop.

Describing that experience of working in Chicago, Harper first stated it was "Cold."

While Ryan replied, "Well, coming from New York, I'd been in New York prior to going to Chicago, so I actually didn't think it was that cold. And I really feel the cold. But Chicago is amazing. We all loved it. The food is incredible.

"I really hope and I believe that the Chicago natives are going to be happy with what we're bringing to you our Power Book IV: Force, with Chicago being the backdrop. It really is another character."

And Harped added in, "It's the best. We love Chicago. We're huge fans, all of us, of Chicago. And also, we have so many great Chicago actors as well in our show, a lot of really tremendous talented actors from stage and other things. And so I think that's also very important to all of us, and nice to represent the city."

The fans have such a love for Power and the many characters that have come through the various series.

And both Ryan and Harper are thrilled for the fans to get to see what they've been working on finally.

"I'm just really excited for the fans to see this spinoff because there's been so much anticipation for it.

Gloria  Reacts - Power Book IV: Force Season 1 Episode 1

"And I think we've just done such an amazing job at keeping what everybody loved from the original Power, but mixed in with this new backdrop of Chicago, mixed in with the new characters, some new love situations, and some new gangsters in this new world.

"And the family dynamics. We have an amazing show to show the fans, so I hope they love it," Ryan remarked.

While Harper acknowledged, "I think it's in lockstep with the original series. And Joseph really made sure of that. I think because he's on set every day, and he's leading the charge.

"I think falling in line with that, I feel like we just have such that great essence of the original show, which I'm so excited about. When I watched the first episode, that's all I could think about. We're definitely excited. We're buzzing for it."

For his part, Flanagan hopes that the fans will wonder, "Will there be a showdown? What impact will Tommy Egan have on this powerful family?"

Son & Daughter - Power Book IV: Force Season 1 Episode 1

And when asked what she's excited for the fans to see from her character, Simmons replied, "I'm excited for the fans to see Claudia, she's a slow burn, and you are on this journey with her growing and exploring herself and what she can handle and what she knows she can and can't do and just constantly testing the waters and going for it.

"And at the end of the season, she's just at the tip of the iceberg, and it's already explosive. So, I'm excited for that."

As we head into this new series, we had to ask what word would describe this first season of Power Book IV: Force.

"Sexy," Ryan said, with Harper replying, "Yeah, it is very sexy. It's also pretty violent."

Tommy Is Back - Tall - Power Book IV: Force Season 1 Episode 1

And Ryan put it all into perspective when she said, "Very violent. It's what everybody loves, right. Sex and violence."

That is very true, and it makes us even more eager to see what this new adventure has to offer for longtime fans of the series.

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 senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. She is a lover of all things TV. Follow her on X.

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