Agency: Claudia Greene @mayhementertainmentpr Photographer: Bobby Quillard @bobbyquillard Model: Goya Robles @goyarobles
Congratulations on your role as ‘Joaquin’ in “Power Book III: Raising Kanan”! How do you feel being part of a show that is such a big hit? Were you a fan of the series before booking this role?
Thank you! I’m very grateful for the opportunity. When I taped the audition, we felt strongly about it but I also know that you can never anticipate how things will play out. I watched the entire Power series when it aired, so I definitely have a strong relationship with the characters on the show. To this day, I still can’t get over how season 3 ended, but Shakespearean tragedy is definitely the best way to describe it!
What can you tell us about the show and your character for people who may not have seen the show yet?
Well the show is a prequel to the hit show Power. It chronicles the life of “Kanan Stark”, played by 50 Cent in the original series that started it all. I play the character “Joaquin”, who ends up becoming the needed drug connection for “Raq”, Kanan’s mother and rising queen pin of the drug game in NYC.
Every episode this season was action-packed and even hour long episodes weren’t enough for fans. Do you have any favorite scenes from this season?
There are so many, but a lot of my favorite scenes are with “Jukebox”, played by Hailey Kilgore. Seeing the innocence of her love develop only to lose it in such an ugly way, and seeing the impact of that loss played so well by her really pulled me into the story. Now I understand the animal she needed to become in the original series, that was motivated by so much pain.
What are you looking forward to the most with your character in the next season of “Power Book III: Raising Kanan”?
The writers on the show are extremely talented. They are really good at keeping everything unrevealed, so I have no idea what they have in store for “Joaquin”. It’ll be interesting to see what Raq does once her empire starts to kick off, and how “Joaquin” navigates through that world.
Are there any character traits that you and your character ‘Joaquin’ share or have in common?
Well I can’t say I know what it’s like to run a drug trafficking ring! But “Joaquin” does move in a way where you don’t know what he’s thinking, you just have to expect that he’s up to something. Maybe I’m like that a little bit…
You’ve played a wide range of characters throughout your career and you’re known for your heartfelt performances. What do you do to help you channel the characters you play so intimately?
I have a series of rituals and relaxation exercises that allow me to access the impulses in my body once it’s playtime. I do my best to find the core wound of each character, the place where innocence was taken away and a person has to do everything they can to survive. Once I find that, it gives me access to the motivation of the character.
What would you say makes your role in ‘Raising Kanan’ different from any roles you’ve had before?
I tend to get cast for villain roles more often than not. So it’s my job to differentiate the expressions of these characters as much as I can. I’d say with “Joaquin”, it was really important to me to capture the power in his silence. The unpredictability in what he could do next. A boss doesn’t have to convince you they’re running shit, they just do. So I’ve been having a lot of fun exploring those power dynamics.
I read that you also are one of the creators of the charity event, “Paint The Mic”. What made you want to create this charity and why is this cause important to you?
Initially I started Paint The Mic in New York City as a way for local visual and performing artists to express themselves while providing a platform that stimulated creativity. It garnered such a great response from the artistic community, and inspired me to shift its focus to community work. Now, PTM has become a place where artists come together to create original work based on a theme that speaks to different aspects of being human. We work together with local non-profit organizations to use our platform to raise awareness and money to gain resources for underserved communities. I do this because I’ve been blessed to do what I do, and it’s important to me that those that need support receive it.
You also are a part of the theater community and have performed in many off Broadway shows. If you could only choose one, what would you say your favorite play of all time is?
This is a tough question. There are so many great plays out there. I would say that the ones that come to mind are Water by the Spoonful by Quiara Alegria Hudes and The Motherfucker with the Hat Stephen by Adly Gurguis. Both are heartfelt, gritty, and contain poetry about how they communicate the struggles of the characters in their story. I Highly recommend it.
You clearly are someone who is extremely creative and passionate about the arts. Is acting and performing something that runs in your family?
Both my parents are artists at heart. My mother was a painter and my father was a guitarist. Both were really great at what they did. Unfortunately, they did not pursue their passions at a great cost. I think that’s why my mother never discouraged me from going after my passion in acting and being a spoken word artist. She personally knew the cost and always made sure she supported me throughout my journey.
Are there any new ventures that you are working on and can tell us about?
I recently filmed two features this year, one of them being Peter Farrely’s The Greatest Beer Run Ever starring Zac Efron, Bill Murray, and Russell Crowe. I got to go to Thailand, so that was a blessing in itself. I have a few projects coming out next year so keep an eye out for those..