EXCLUSIVE Interview with Power’s Joseph Sikora [+ “Who You With?” Preview]
IÂ love Joseph Sikora‘s Tommy Egan. Even though Ghost isn’t his blood, he considers him a brother, a partner. They grew up together and they’ve come up in this business together. TV Goodness wanted to find out a little more about how Joseph heard about the role, working with Omari Hardwick and what he’s enjoyed most about the series so far.
TV GOODNESS: You’ve done a fair amount of television. Do you prefer it over moviesÂ and, if so, why?
Joseph Sikora: “No I don’t prefer it, but actors act and I’ve never been in a position to be turning down work. That just happened because of a bunch of guest stars and recurrings on television for the last twenty years. That’s all that is.”
TV GOODNESS: How did you hear about this role and what made you want to doÂ Power?
Joseph: “I heard about the role almost two years ago, I guess. They were auditioning it during pilot season and the time came and went. I did not end up with it the first time around. They had a couple of choices who they were interested in. I’m pretty sure after they secured Omari [Hardwick] they went back in for the other characters and reviewed the people that were their top choices. The role for Tommy came up again and Matthew Maisto,Â our casting director out in New York, saw my managers again and said, ‘The part is up again, I just think Joe would be perfect for this role.’ So we ended up going over there and taping here in New York, which was great. It was all good timing because I had to get married in between there as well last year. So I auditioned here, they sent the tape in, I got notes, did it again, then Courtney [Kemp Agboh], Anthony Hemingway and David Knoller came to New York to meet with me, and I think some other guys too. Then from there went out to Los Angeles and did the chemistry read audition with Omari and finally the network test.”
TV GOODNESS: If you had to describe Tommy in one or two words, what would you choose and why?
Joseph: “I would say hustler for the obvious reasons, but also hardworking. Tommy’s never shied away from being incredibly hardworking, doing the roadwork, doing the street work and being unafraid. Then I would also say survivor. Tommy is the animal that gets locked in the trap and chews off his arm to live another day. He’s a survivor and I think within that there’s a very admirable quality. I think sometimes people are like, ‘Oh, Tommy. Something’s bad with Tommy. He’s so ill,’ or something. But heÂ actually has pretty proper ethics. They might be different from normal people, but he commits to the ethics of the world he has decided to join. He lives by those rules.”
TV GOODNESS: Even though Tommy and Ghost call themselves partners their division of power isn’t equal. How would you describe their relationship and that power dynamic?
Joseph: “I think it’s brothers. They went into this relationship back when they were little kids, growing up together as brothers looking out for each other. That’s how they are able to fight and then turn on a dime like when we’re in the little gangway at the club [from episode 104 “Who Are You?”] and they almost come to blows. But right after that we’re like, ‘Well, how do we handle this?’ Because that’s how family works. People could say that everything is not equal. It’s equal in the sense that without using words, this is how these guys relationship has worked. Tommy happens to come from a black neighborhood, as he says in [this] episode. ‘I was the only white kid within twenty blocks. I never stopped fighting.’ That worked for him and it made him very tough and it made him have to prove himself double. When TommyÂ showed up on the scene people got nervous. ‘Let’s either cough up this money or this guy is gonna kill somebody.’ So there was that zero to sixty aspect of Tommy that was very beneficial to their relationship, Tommy being like, ‘Something’s gonna get done. It’s gonna get done today and it’s gonna done now.’ You could say that’s a right-hand man, but that’s also a boss. That dynamic has existed for a long time and it works.”
TV GOODNESS: You mentioned Omari Hardwick. What’s he like to work with and what’s your favorite scene with him?
Joseph: “My favorite scene with him was that hallway scene [from “Who Are You?] that we ended up shooting with John ColesÂ as we were shooting the episodes with George Tillman Jr., who is another phenomenal director, just great. But I think where we were able to get to revisiting that scene – Omari and I. I didn’t kill Anibal. There was [this]Â dynamic, like, ‘Hit me in the face. You can’t break rocks man.’ They were so posturing. And then that flip on a dime. Those people have to be in the same world. I mean, you can’t just edit around that. It has to be an actual connection of magic, of the ancient tradition of storytelling, tapping into that. I really feel like Omari is a wonderful listener. Once they call action he’s all about listening and reacting. With Omari I definitely don’t play the scene the same every time. TheÂ guest stars and my co-stars, they wonder sometimes and I get it. I’m never disrespectful and I never hinder anybody’s process, that’s number one but Omari is definitely up for, ‘Alright, it’s not gonna be the same with Joe necessarily,’ unless we need it to be to match something. It’s always gonna be fresh and Omari plays in a very similar way, so it’s a luxury. We get along very, very well.”
Edited for space and content.
We’ve seen the rest of the season and we’ll have a postmortem with Joseph after the season 1 finale. In the meantime, here’s a little teaser for this week’sÂ episode.
“Who You With?” synopsis, from Starz:
Tommy makes peace with Ruiz while Angela has a member of Ruizâ€™s gang wired, Ghost forgets Tashaâ€™s birthday, Tommyâ€™s relationship with Holly deepens, Angela has a family emergency, Ghost and Angela confront the reality of their affair, and Ghostâ€™s driver Shawn speaks too candidly to Tasha.
Power airs Saturdays at 9/8c on Starz.
All photos courtesy of Starz.
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