The fifth season of Power ended on quite a cliffhanger to roll into the final season of the show. We won’t spoil how it resolves in the season premiere, but fans are going to find out whether a certain character pulled through or not. Whatever happens to her will drive Ghost (Omari Hardwick) through the final season of the Starz drama.
It’s been a five-year journey for Hardwick as Ghost, a New Yorker running a nightclub above board, but making his real money selling drugs. While the final chapter of Ghost’s saga will air in two parts — part one premieres Sunday, Aug. 25, and part two will debut in January 2020 — Hardwick’s future is already looking bright. He spent his summer filming Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead with Dave Bautista, and will have no trouble staying busy if his movie output between seasons of Power is any indication.
Hardwick spoke with Rotten Tomatoes about the final season of Power and also shared what he likes to watch when he can steal an hour after his kids go to sleep.
(Photo by Cinemax)
Outside of the latest and greatest cartoons, because I’m the pop of a 6- and a 4-year-old — if I’m not watching stuff with them, the first two seasons of Power I watched The Knick. It was appointment TV for me. I haven’t had appointment TV since then because I’ve been playing Ghost. Not only time-wise — it’s tricky. Then I started doing music, so my time was all about just being with the kids. The first two seasons I was watching Soderbergh’s The Knick. My friend Andre Holland [was] on it, obviously and Clive Owen. That was the last time. I like The Voice. That was appointment TV for me. I like Chip and Jojo, HGTV’s Fixer Upper was really big for me. I find myself watching a lot of that kind of stuff.
(Photo by Warrick Page/HBO)
What I haven’t been able to see yet that is set on the DVR in terms of the pre-order, because I didn’t make it into the theater to watch it, is Avengers: Endgame. I never got a chance to see that yet. I’m working with Dave Bautista now and I told him, “I haven’t seen that yet.” He’s like, “It’s there. It ain’t gonna go nowhere.” [The kids and I] watched Jumanji yesterday, which is different than the one you and I grew up with.
(Photo by Sony Pictures)
I watched Into the Spider-Verse, the animated Spider-Man, which was phenomenal. I’ve had to watch that several times. I’m in a movie right now in New Mexico called Army of the Dead which is Netflix, so I snuck back [home]. My son was under the weather yesterday and I just wanted to hug him. It’s an hour flight. I live in Denver, so I went from New Mexico to Denver, snuck back, and in that little four hours of being home, that’s what I was watching. Oh, you know what I watched? Stranger Things. Really good. I have seen that. It’s really, really different. I liked Stranger Things a lot.
(Photo by HBO)
You can tell me whether it’s coming back out. The Night Of, my friend Michael K. Williams was in it. That joint was incredible. I love that. Between The Knick and season 1 and 2 of Power and being able to fit that in, wifey was pregnant with our second kid. After that baby came out, I really got into that. That was dope. I love following the story of it, especially with Ghost being this character that’s such a thinker, and me being a thinker, that was very good. You can tell me — are they doing a second installment? [Editor’s note: Sadly, not right now, although HBO has expressed interest should the creative team want to make more.]
(Photo by Starz)
Fred Topel for Rotten Tomatoes: Last season ended on such a cliffhanger. We’re not going to give away what happens in the season premiere, but did you have any input with creator Courtney A. Kemp in how that storyline in particular would resolve?
Absolutely. It’s cool that I haven’t necessarily had to want for it. There’s never been a summer that she and I aren’t on the phone about what comes. Playing the lead character, there’s always had to be major, major communication between the two of us as to what’s going on between each episode, let alone coming from the finale of one season to the beginning of the next. We’ve always conversed about it and she’s asked me my opinion. I fly out to L.A. Typically we sit in the writers room. We break down where the next season’s going to go. They ask you your opinions. She’s offered that from the gate so I’ve always had a say in that way.
RT: You must have thought a lot about where Ghost is going to end up. Is it quite a different thing to finally be there?
I remember running in Boston. Just took the family, drove them up four or five hours to Boston from New York. I remember jogging and listening to a song and the song inspired what I thought would be a great idea for the end of this if we ever got to that point and if we became as successful as we did. At that point, we’re season 2 but if we became as successful as we did, which we now humbly find ourselves, I had written an ending that is not what you guys will see. Getting to the place where whatever the conclusion of my storyline is on the show, if it’s not exactly what I conjured up in my spirit when I was listening to a song running in Boston, then that’s a different experience.
RT: What was the song?
“Wanted Man.” In the song, the guy’s on the run and it’s super dope.
(Photo by Starz)
RT: Can Ghost save his family, or is it already too late for that?
If he could all of a sudden have the family at the same place [it would be unrealistic] because when he rose to the top, he was doing it illegally. At some point as we see Tariq now proving to be that point. Tariq is saying, “But how’d you get there? Mom, don’t speak yet. Pop, how’d you get there? Okay, Mom, you talk. Oh, you’re lying too?” There was so much inequity in the dissemination of information, whether it be false or right, and you’re a parent. You can’t lie to your kids at the levels he did and then have a mistress on the side so that in your fall, you’re able to still salvage everything. My point is, I guess, is when he rose, he was building it on shaky ground. He was going to have a foundation of lies, so I don’t necessarily think we could have it where he salvages them that way. But if he can keep them alive, I think at this point that’s all Ghost is [trying to do].
RT: Do you have a badass role in Army of the Dead?
My grandma passed in the midst of that, which was tough. Dad’s ma. So it was really, really tough but she did really well —especially having my grandfather pass in November, having a husband that died in November — she lasted nine months after that. So I was wardrobing when she passed and then came home, back to New York. Then I went to the Essence Festival to promote Power. So after we laid her to rest, I might have had two days at the Denver house before Army of the Dead called me right back. The role is a super badass role. Not just a badass, but Dave Bautista and I play the guys that fought with each other at one point and now are being asked to fight with each other again to figure these zombies out. Zack Snyder’s been just a pleasure to work with and his whole camp has been awesome.
Power returns for the first half of its final season Sunday, Aug. 25 at 8 p.m. on Starz.
(Photo by Cara Howe / Netflix)
Regina King is no stranger to drama. She won two Emmys for American Crime and was part of the ensembles of Southland and The Leftovers. Her latest show, Seven Seconds, may be her most harrowing work yet — at least until she appears in Damon Lindelof’s HBO adaptation of Watchmen.
On Seven Seconds, King plays Latrice Butler, a mother whose son Brenton (Daykwon Gaines) is injured in a hit-and-run by a police officer (Beau Knapp). With Netflix vying for Emmy consideration for their dramatic series, King spoke with Rotten Tomatoes by phone about why Seven Seconds was her toughest role yet.
But first, King shared her near-total conversion from on-the-air television. Find out what’s on her DVR and streaming queues, and the one thing she makes an exception for on live TV.
(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
I am totally converted. I do not do any appointment TV unless it’s a playoff game or a game final.
(Photo by Pari Dukovic/FX)
Oh, I know what’s on my DVR that I have not watched yet: [American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni] Versace. That is all queued up and ready for me to watch all of them. I have not seen one, so that’s going to be one of those over-at-four-o’-clock-in-the-morning nights.
(Photo by Aleksandar Letic)
So much. I want to see Ibiza. That’s on my radar to watch. I haven’t seen the last two Dave Chappelles, so that’s on there, and Chris Rock’s Tamborine is one that I want to see. Obviously, I’m in this space where I want to see comedies and things that will make me laugh. I’ve been doing TV lately that is so heavy that something light, comedies are the things I’m looking forward to. Another Netflix show I like is Atypical. I’ve only watched three episodes, and I haven’t finished that one. That’s a really good show. It’s funny and it has a little emotional weight to it which I dig. My son turned me onto it. There’s another one my son turned me onto that I’ve watched just the first two episodes which I thought was genius, it’s a cartoon called Big Mouth. I thought that was just awesome.
(Photo by JoJo Whilden/FX)
(Photo by JoJo Whilden / Netflix)
Fred Topel for Rotten Tomatoes: I’m sure you’d hoped for a fourth season of American Crime, but when there wasn’t, was it nice to find another show that really had something to say?
Regina King: Yes, absolutely. When I came onto Seven Seconds, I only came on for a season. This story is a one-off story. It was never something for me that was supposed to continue. That story was a story that I felt needed to be told. Some people may feel like it’s a told-again story, but unfortunately, this is who we are as an American culture. It’s unfortunate, but for me, the storytelling that is not scared of holding a mirror up is fascinating for me as an artist.
(Photo by JoJo Whilden / Netflix)
RT: Is there a specific episode you’re submitting for Emmy consideration as an example of your most powerful work?
King: Oh my gosh, I have not gone back to watch the shows, because it was so emotional that I can’t go back to watch. It’s already hard for me to watch myself, because as an actor, the times I’ve watched things that I’ve done, I always feel like, “I wish I would’ve made this choice. Oh, I know I did a better take than that. Why didn’t they use that?” I find myself in this space of shoulda/woulda/coulda and that really is ridiculous. That’s just crazy thinking, but because I do that, I tend to not watch things that I’ve done, unless it’s just something that’s really specific to the press tour, and I need to really know it very well. This one, even if it was specific to the press tour, it was such an emotional place to live for six months that I just can’t go back there. I just can’t.
(Photo by Warner Bros./courtesy Everett Collection)
RT: Is Watchmen going to be that emotional for you?
King: Damon Lindelof is so brilliant. It is going to be emotional in another way, but I don’t think in that way. Because I’m a mother — I’m a mother of a son — I know what it feels like just when your son goes out to a party. If they’re five minutes after curfew, I’m looking at the clock nervous. That alone, I think a lot of parents can relate to that. That’s why [Seven Seconds] was such a raw place for me to be, but Watchmen is going to have some emotion for some different reasons that I can’t say because Damon is so brilliant. He is doing some things in this show that, if it has been done before, I haven’t seen it.
RT: They haven’t said who you’re playing yet, but what is it like to play a new character in the Watchmen world?
King: Well, I start on Monday, so so far we have just been going through all the wardrobe design and all the different things that come along with developing who the woman I’m playing is. I am being very careful, because I am not messing up anything. I’m still so honored that Damon is calling on me again. I just want to show up and show out.
RT: Does reading the comic book help when it’s a new take on Watchmen?
King: I am not reading it. Damon’s asking for me to wait and read it after we finish the first season.
While not as chock full of premieres as the fall TV season, summer can churn out some doozies of its own. Like we did around this time last year, we’ll be treated to shows that draw immediate engagement (Mr. Robot, Penny Dreadful, Orange is the New Black, Wayward Pines), television movie premieres (Sharknado: The 4th Awakens, The Dresser, All The Way), and special events (Just Let Go – Lenny Kravitz Live, Every Brilliant Thing, SyFy Presents Live from Comic-Con). Add some anticipated series premieres (Roadies, Lady Dynamite, Outcast, Preacher) and miniseries (Roots, Houdini & Doyle, O.J.: Made in America) to the mix, and your DVR hard drives are sure to reach max capacity. So the questions is, which shows will you be deleting first, and which will rise to the pinnacle of your summer viewing list of faves? Check out the full (ever growing) list here:
Sunday, May 1
Penny Dreadful season three premiere, 10 p.m., Showtime
Tuesday, May 3
Person of Interest season five premiere, 10 p.m., CBS
Wednesday, May 4
Maron season four premiere, 9 p.m., IFC
Friday, May 6
Grace and Frankie season two premiere, Netflix
Sunday, May 8
Wallander season four premiere, 9 p.m., PBS
Monday, May 9
Every Brilliant Thing special event premiere, HBO
Tuesday, May 10
First Impressions series premiere, 10:30 p.m., USA
Wednesday, May 11
Chelsea series premiere, Netflix
Thursday, May 12
Submission series premiere, 11 p.m., Showtime
Friday, May 13
Just Let Go – Lenny Kravitz Live special event premiere, 8 p.m., Showtime
Wednesday, May 18
Royal Pains season eight premiere, 10 p.m., USA
Saturday, May 21
All the Way television movie premiere, 8 p.m., HBO
Sunday, May 22
Preacher series premiere, 10 p.m., AMC
Monday, May 23
Whose Line is it Anyway? season 12 premiere, 9 p.m., CW
Wednesday, May 25
Wayward Pines season two premiere, 9 p.m., FOX
Monday, May 30
So You Think You Can Dance season 13 premiere, 8 p.m., FOX
The Dresser television movie premiere (US), 9 p.m., Starz
Roots miniseries premiere, 9 p.m., History, Lifetime, and A&E
Mistresses season four premiere, 10 p.m., ABC
Wednesday, June 1
Rock this Boat: New Kids on the Block season two premiere, 8 p.m., POP
Young & Hungry season four premiere, 8 p.m., Freeform
Baby Daddy season five return, 8:30 p.m., Freeform
Kingdom season two return, 9 p.m., DirecTV
Cleverman series premiere, 10 p.m., Sundance
The Night Shift season three premiere, 10 p.m., NBC
Sunday, June 5
Feed the Beast series premiere, 10 p.m., AMC
Monday, June 6
Angie Tribeca season two premiere, TBS
Barbarians Rising miniseries premiere, 9 p.m., History
Devious Maids season four premiere, 9 p.m., Lifetime
Rizzoli & Isles season seven premiere, 9 p.m., TNT
UnREAL season two premiere, 10 p.m., Lifetime
Tuesday, June 7
Casual season two premiere, Hulu
Friday, June 10
Voltron: Legendary Defender series premiere, Netflix
Thursday, June 16
Aquarius season two premiere, 9 p.m., NBC
Friday, June 17
Orange is the New Black season four premiere, Netflix
Saturday, June 18
Mother, May I Sleep with Danger television movie premiere, 8 p.m., Lifetime
Sunday, June 19
Endeavour season three premiere (US), 9 p.m., PBS
The Last Ship season three premiere, 9 p.m., TNT
The Jim Gaffigan Show season two premiere, 10 p.m., TV Land
The Tunnel series premiere (US), 10:30 p.m., PBS
Tuesday, June 21
Pretty Little Liars season seven premiere, 8 p.m., Freeform
Wednesday, June 22
Big Brother season 17 premiere, 8 p.m., CBS
American Gothic series premiere, 10 p.m., CBS
Friday, June 24
The Fundamentals of Caring television movie premiere, Netflix
Saturday, June 25
Center Stage: On Pointe television movie premiere, 8 p.m., Lifetime
Sunday, June 26
Dancing on the Edge series premiere (US), 8 p.m., PBS
Ray Donovan season four premiere, 9 p.m., Showtime
Murder in the First season three premiere, 10 p.m., TNT
Roadies series premiere, 10 p.m., Showtime
Thursday, June 30
Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll season two premiere, 10 p.m., FX
Friday, July 1
Between season two premiere, Netflix
Marcella series premiere (US), Netflix
Marco Polo season two premiere, Netflix
Killjoys season two premiere, 9 p.m., SyFy
Dark Matter season two premiere, 10 p.m., SyFy
Sunday, July 3
The Hunt series premiere (US), 9 p.m., BBC America
Sunday, July 10
The Circus: Inside the Greatest Political Show on Earth season one return, 8 p.m., Showtime
DB Cooper miniseries premiere, 9 p.m., History
The Night Of series premiere, 9 p.m., HBO
Monday, July 11
Making of the Mob season two premiere, 10 p.m., AMC
Wednesday, July 13
Penn & Teller: Fool Us season three premiere, 8 p.m., CW
Suits season six premiere, 9 p.m., USA
The A Word series premiere, 10 p.m., Sundance
Mr. Robot season two premiere, 10 p.m., USA
Thursday, July 21
SyFy Presents Live from Comic-Con special event premiere, 8 p.m., SyFy
Friday, July 22
Bring It! season three return, 9 p.m., Lifetime
Saturday, July 23
Looking: The Movie television movie premiere, 10 p.m., HBO
Thursday, July 28
Ripper Street season four premiere (US), 10 p.m., BBC America
Friday, July 29
Home: The Adventures of Tip and Oh series premiere, Netflix
Sunday, July 31
Sharknado: The 4th Awakens television movie premiere, 8 p.m., SyFy
Friday, Aug. 12
The Get Down series premiere, Netflix
Thursday, Aug. 18
60 Days In season two premiere, 9 p.m., A&E
Sunday, Aug. 21
Fear the Walking Dead season two return, 9 p.m., AMC
Wednesday, Aug. 24
Gomorrah series premiere (US), 10 p.m., Sundance
Sunday, Aug. 28
The Strain season three premiere, 10 p.m., FX
Wednesday, Aug. 31
You’re the Worst season three premiere, 10 p.m., FX
Frontier series premiere, Netflix
Halt and Catch Fire season three premiere, AMC
Happy Valley season two premiere, Netflix
Masters of Sex season four premiere, Showtime (July)
Suits season six premiere, USA