New York Background Actors in ‘Power’
In February, Power will air its final episode after a successful six-year run. The series is a collaboration between showrunner Courtney Kemp and executive producer Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and follows James St. Patrick (aka Ghost) as he attempts to leave his drug kingpin days behind for a life as a legitimate nightclub owner. Casting Director Anne R. and the Central Casting New York team cast Background Actors, Stand-Ins, and doubles throughout the course of the show.
“Power has it all,” Anne said. “It’s a love story, it’s a story about family, it’s a story about friendship, and it’s a story about New York City.”
According to Starz, Power is the premium cabler’s highest rated show and was the second highest rated cable debut of 2019, behind only Game of Thrones. During season five, the series averaged 10.8 million viewers an episode across TV airings, on demand, and streaming, making it one of most watched cable shows on television.
Critics have credited Power’s success to its fast-paced unpredictable storylines, complex characters, and rich world building. The series shot on location throughout New York City and at Steiner Studios in Brooklyn. To bring life to these locations, Anne cast Background Actors as gang members, FBI agents, mobsters, strippers, club goers, models, and in many other roles.
“We filmed all over the five boroughs and the Background Actors helped bring out the authenticity and diversity of each neighborhood,” Anne said.
For scenes at Ghost’s Truth nightclub, it was common to have large calls of three hundred background to fill the space. In season one, actor Michael J. Ferguson was one of those Background Actors. The next season, he became a principal actor on the show and a series regular in season six.
“The journey was amazing,” Ferguson told Afterbuzz TV. “Season one, [I was] just another guy in a club, no lines, non-union. Season two still non-union, but this time a featured extra which turned into ‘we want you to audition for the role of 2-Bit.’”
Anne said several background were upgraded on the show, including Amaya Carr who became part of the principal cast after being booked as baby Yasmine.
While the show may be coming to an end, there is more to come from the Power universe. Starz has announced plans for two spinoffs: a sequel helmed by Kemp starring Mary J. Blige and a prequel produced by 50 Cent.
“The last five seasons of Power have been an incredible ride for me and all of our supportive fans,” 50 Cent told Entertainment Weekly. “We are far from over and I am excited to bring you more from the Power brand.”
Just like when Background Actors were booked on the show, working on Power was a memorable experience for Anne.
“I got to work with the best in the business starting with the showrunner Courtney Kemp,” she said. “This was her baby and to watch her through the process of story development and execution was an unbelieve experience and I’m so grateful to have been a part of it.”
Don’t miss the final episodes of Power on Sundays on Starz and the Starz app.
To learn more about projects cast by Central Casting, watch Georgia Casting Director Alyssa talk about casting Avengers: Infinity War and learn about Central Casting’s connection to the original A Star is Born.