When it came to binge-watching shows during the pandemic, nothing had us quite on lock like STARZ’s Power series. From the TL’s favourite original series Power to the spin-off series Power Book: Ghost, we’ve been glued to our screens as we venture into the world of James St Patrick and his intriguing yet glamourous lifestyle.
While the original series ended in 2020 after six thrilling seasons, the love for the cast and story only magnified, resulting in three further spin-offs in the same universe, and its latest drop has all our attention. Focusing on the enigmatic and wild cast favourite from the original show Tommy Egan (Joseph Sikora), we leave New York and head to Chicago for Power Book: Force, where the outsider uses his new status to break the rules and become the biggest drug dealer in the city.
Taking a liking to the razor-sharp and fiery Gloria (Gabrielle Ryan), Tommy makes his way through her family of mobsters creating an entanglement so deep it begins to send ripples throughout the town.
Catching up with us virtually, Ryan talks through her new role and the impact of the Power series.
Check out the interview below…
How have you been these past few weeks? I know you’ve been jetting around like crazy!
I don’t know what they told you, but this is my first big role and I could have never imagined this reaction. It’s funny because 50 Cent did say, you know, ‘get ready. But it’s difficult o comprehend when it’s not come out yet. Since the new series dropped it’s just been insane. The fan response has been incredible. You never know how you’re going to be received as a new character especially because my storyline is with Tommy.
To be fair, the Power Universe is huge and it’s so popular worldwide! My and my mom watch it together…
[laughs] Oh my God I love that. My dad is always telling people to watch it and I’m like, I’m not sure this is the best thing for them to be watching me in, You know, with all the sex scenes.
So how did you first get involved with the show?
The standard way. My agent sent me the audition and I put myself on tape. But I thought they wouldn’t think I was fit for the role. So I thought, ‘yeah, I did an amazing job but maybe they’ll call me back for a different role. And then sure enough they called me back and told me they want me back for the next stages.
That’s so good!
They wanted me to Zoom with the producers because it was still in the middle of the pandemic. Soon after, they wanted me to do chats with Joseph and chemistry reads over Zoom which was so strange! The whole thing was a surreal experience! I remember feeling so excited because I felt so attached to the role already and I was just a bundle or neves and excitement.
And with filming and everything, was that during a lockdown?
Yeah so, we all had to be vaccinated. We were in a complete bubble, masks all the time. We were getting tested every day. You know, we weren’t allowed to see anybody else except each other. It was intense.
I feel like when you have a little family on set it’s a lot nicer experience than just feeling like you’re going to work
Oh my God, it was so nice. And especially because it really was only Lilly and me that were the two girls and we just got you to know, we’ve gotten great. And we’re so close. You know, we went to Paris together since we wrapped it. And you know, I think I was quite lucky because everybody else in the cast has been doing this for so many years. I’m like a newbie, so I felt so blessed and grateful to be around such great actors who have been doing this for many, many years.
Did you feel kind of nervous going into the power universe? Because it has such a big fanbase?
I keep getting asked that, I really didn’t I was just so excited. I felt like I knew the world so well as you know, sort of an audience member. And I was so prepared for the role I’d worked so hard on it, that there really, I wasn’t nervous as I was just excited. I just couldn’t wait to get on set. You know, sink my teeth into it and get to my scenes with Joseph, who was also incredible to work with it was, it was just so fun. We had such a blast.
And your character Gloria she’s got a very interesting and intimate relationship with Tommy, how do you think she sees him?
I think when you know, in that opening scene, episode one, when Tommy walks in, it’s not like Gloria is looking for anything. Obviously, she’s in this complicated situation with Victor anyway. But Tommy is such an interesting character, I think his energy and aura wherever he goes, sort of it just emits that. And so, I think when he walks into the bar, you know, he’s one of those things, you can always tell somebody that’s not from around here, you know, I’m in New York, I can always spot a Brit a mile off. It’s just one of those things, I think she’s just so intrigued by him when he comes in, and then obviously there is like instant attraction, instant chemistry. And I actually really love that first scene with them meeting, because even though there are lines, there are a lot of silent moments where there’s just eye contact. And that’s when you can sort of tell what’s really going on
Could you relate to Gloria in any way?
Whenever I work on any character I’ll always sort of list the similarities and differences and then I sort of go from there. I think Gloria has experienced trauma in her life, and I think that anybody can relate to that, at any different capacity – some larger than others. I definitely that there are some aspects of myself that Gloria and I share. But what I will say is that she definitely has more determination and confidence. She’s just so feisty, whereas I’m a bit more reserved as a Brit.
You worked with 50 [Cent] on the show as well, what kind of like advice did he give you?
Oh, my goodness. 50, he is so amazing, he came to set many times. And he’s, you know, he’s very, he’s so giving of his time. You know, I constantly say to him, “50 you changed my life.” He’s just so cool. You know, he’s 50 Cent, he doesn’t have to give up his time like how he does. I think he’s just such an inspiration, and I constantly say he’s so unafraid of like, putting new talent on because this is my first big role.
That’s so good to hear. But outside of Power, though, like what would you say would be your like, dream role?
…A Bond girl.
There are many things! I have such eclectic taste with what I’d love to do, and what I’d love to do next, but I’m a huge fan of Bridgeton and I love the Marvel franchise. Something British would be awesome, you know to do something British next would be awesome. But uh, yeah, I’d love to be a Bond girl.
Do you think it’s easier to get into acting like in the US than it is in the UK?
I think everybody’s experience is different. Yeah. I never really had a UK experience because I went straight to the US. I think there’s a misconception that when you’re British in America, it just happens immediately. That definitely wasn’t my experience. I’ve been doing this for many years and this is my first series regular role. You can’t go there and not be able to do the accent.
Last question, I don’t want to hold you too long. What are you like most excited for in the future?
Oh, gosh, we can’t say anything. Like to be honest, we don’t even know. I don’t think anything has been announced yet, but it’s breaking cable records. So yeah. I mean, I’m just so excited. You know, I’m definitely riding the wave, the Power wave right now. And, you know, I’m definitely in talks for a couple of exciting things. So, I’m just completely open to seeing what happens next in continuing to ride this awesome new wave and continuing with these new experiences.