In the world of pills, powdered substances and the chase of the high and mighty dollar, no one’s safe. In the world of Power, the same rules apply. In the Starz scripted drama, anyone can catch a body, and no one is exempt from a bullet.
For five seasons Kanan Stark, played by the show’s executive producer Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson has been a thorn in everyone’s side. Kay spent 10 years in prison after Ghost and Tasha framed him, and upon release, he made up for lost time by killing his own son, his cousin Jukebox, and anyone else he needed to clip in order to regain his ranking in the drug world.
For a while, things seemed to be going according to Kanan’s plan. He finagled his way back into the fold with Tommy and Ghost, while simultaneously advancing his own agenda. But even the stong have weaknesses and Kanan never suspected Tariq would be the one to take him down. In the end, the son he’d been grooming to be a hustler hustled him.
Going out like the gangster he is, Kanan evaded police trying to arrest him and killed nearly half a dozen cops in the process, but not without taking two bullets to the chest driving off in a police car and crashing in a ditch.
VIBE, along with Essence, Deadline, TVLine, TV Guide and TV Insider spoke with 50 Cent Monday (Aug. 27) via a conference call about his climatic last scene, and why Kanan’s demise will kick the rest of the show into high gear.
VIBE: In the final scene, Tariq is in the backseat of the police car and he’s trapped. Kanan looks at Tariq before killing a cop. Why do you think Kanan didn’t kill Tariq?
50 Cent: At that point, even with the gun in the car, Kanan decided he wasn’t going back to jail, period. The scenario with the cop he would’ve beat the case. The gun being in the back of the car isn’t enough to frame him. Kanan didn’t have his fingerprints on it, somebody put that there. Just like in the previous case, someone called the police. He wasn’t even going through the process of going back to jail. Tariq going left on him was like ‘look what you made me do.’ When he stops and looked at Tariq, it’s like ‘I told you I wasn’t going back.’ His fear is there, but he’s a kid. He don’t get nothing for knocking him off.
In the Kanan character, every time [Tariq] said something uncomfortable to Kanan it was about Shawn. That was the most discomfort. When you do something that bad, you don’t accept responsibility for it. [In Season 2] at the top of the steps before he kills Shawn, Kanan says ‘You see what you made me do? You f**ked up and now you made me f**k up.’ Kanan knows what he has to do moving forward. He goes ‘What you going to do? Call the police? You going to call mommy?’ Because his mother is immediately going to call law enforcement so there’s no way out of the situation, outside of killing Shawn at that point. Tariq asked, ‘How could you kill your own son?’ and then Kanan says, ‘Some say you not a real killer until you kill someone you love.’ At that point when he’s looking at him, he didn’t feel any different about Tariq, he’s just going ‘Why would you do that? I don’t understand why you did it? Right after he decides to get out of there he decides to acknowledge he’d been shot in his lower abdomen. He was shot in the shoulder but that was the wound that actually kind of took him out of there.
Do you think with Kanan not taking out any revenge against Tariq showed he might have a soft side? He might have felt some remorse for Shawn?
[Tariq] was the only person he actually liked, the only person he cared for. It happened by chance. Following the Shawn incident, he found what wasn’t in Shawn in Tariq. His expectations of Shawn was you’re a driver, but you can start as a lookout. You’re a driver as a start, but you can move up in the structure. Meanwhile, Shawn was comfortable being a driver with expectations of being a driver.
When did you first learn Kanan was going to die, and when did the rest of the cast find out? What was the energy like when you guys finally wrapped filming?
What’s interesting is we went through a table read and when they read it, the cast was like “Whoa, what is going on?” It was completely unexpected even for them? [In the script] we left it so it was open-ended. The last scene that we shot for episode 508 was the morgue, so it wouldn’t leak that the Kanan character actually died, it was so that he may or may not be passing away at that point.
It’s interesting because I’ve watched other actors in the actual writer’s room read that their character is passing away and they don’t know until they read the actual script for that next episode, so they may know a week before. This weird feeling comes over them or this energy is there. There’s an uncertainty getting ready to be put back into the pool of talented actors not knowing exactly where they’ll be working or what they’ll be working on. I’ve seen some actors start crying. For me, it wasn’t like that because more opportunities opened up and I’m moving to be able to direct.
Why the decision to kill off Kanan now?
That decision was made in the very beginning. We kind of slated the show to go seven seasons initially because we created with the success of [HBO’s] The Sopranos in mind. The death of Kanan at this point ramps up everything. The pace of the shows is a lot more because of everyone’s response to the betrayal of Kanan. His death leads to the big gap between Tommy and Ghost where they don’t trust each other. It changes Tariq and Tasha’s perspective. Everything starts to spin out of control.
What was it like filming that final scene?
We actually filmed it in Queens in Far Rockaway. It was freezing out there. I was sick. It was easy for me in the scene when I was spitting up blood because I was actually sick. It aided my performance in a way. I think I had the flu. We shot for two or three days before we got that all the way right. The overall experience was cool.