MeKai Curtis Reveals How He Became the Star of One of the Hottest Shows in the Power Universe.
MeKai Curtis is soaring through the Power Universe at breakneck speed. Through his starring role in Power Book III: Raising Kanan, Curtis has developed a huge fan base as young Kanan Stark (the character played in the Power franchise by Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson).
Before landing the role on Raising Kanan, the prequel to the original franchise, young Curtis appeared in several series, including Arrested Development, Kirby Buckets, Girl Meets World, and in the film Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. But this series represents a life-changing opportunity for Curtis, who coincidentally shares the name of the man whose screen life is now his life, too.
The mature, articulate actor takes us back to the days when he first landed the role of Kanan and brings us up to speed on the development of his character and the fun times he has had as one of the biggest and brightest stars in the Power Universe.
What did it feel like when you finally got the call, that fateful call that informed you that you were going to be the star of this series?
That’s a pretty layered question. Throughout the auditions leading up to my final one, I had no idea that I was even going to be the lead actor on the show. I knew that I was auditioning for Kanan, though. I was a fan of Power, and I wanted to be on the series. It was the mindset I carried through the entire process from audition to audition. I just thought. “I would love to just get in front of those people and show them what I could do and put my name on the power map!”
It had to be such a confidence builder to nab the role as the title character, don’t you think?
Yes, When I got that actual call, man, it was overwhelming. It was exciting. It was nerve-wracking because this is such a huge figure in the Power franchise. That’s a big deal. So, there was the grateful factor. I appreciated Sascha Penn, 50 Cent and Courtney Kemp (the show’s executive producers) for trusting in me and believing in my abilities to take on this role in this moving machine that they have going on. So yeah, there were a lot of emotions: excitement, nervousness, and of course, that hunger.
In your opinion, what’s the difference between the young Kanan and the older Kanan (50 Cent)?
The Kanan we all know, and kind of love is ruthless. He killed his son! But the young Kanan who we like has a heart. We feel for him. He loves his mom. He has a true love for his family.
What do you think kind of changes in his childhood that turns him into such a different person as an adult?
You’re just gonna have to keep watching Raising Kanan to see that whole journey. It’s a family drama; the story of a young man who’s trying to find his identity in life and it’s a story of choices, influences and environment. And just dealing with the hand that you’ve been dealt and how you would maneuver in certain situations. This is a real story.
Who is young Kanan Stark?
Kanan is young. In Season One, he’s only 15. He’s curious and he’s a very naive, very observant kid, who loves hard. He wants to be there for his mother. He wants to be there for his family, no matter what. He finds himself in so many situations where he’s trying to prove that to his family.
You are truly amazing, and you’ve got an amazing wardrobe, too. What have been some of your favorite pieces to rock?
I’m telling you that Frank Fleming (costume designer and stylist) and the wardrobe department are doing it. My character’s shoe game is crazy. And he’s got all the Triple Fat Goose outerwear!
— Photography Courtesy of Starz