We sat down with first-time show-runner, Courtney Kemp, in discussion about the finale season of Power, which is set to air on August 25.
Kemp reflected on the success of the show and collaborating with Curtis ’50 Cent’ Jackson.
The Knockturnal: What’s something you learned looking back after all the years?
Courtney Kemp: “In success, everyone wants credit. In failure, you fail alone. You succeed with multitude, I should say that. You succeed with multitudes and with failure you fail alone! As a writer. So that’s been an adjustment for sure. I’ve had wonderful support. I’ve had lovely, great things happen to me as a result of the show. I’ve had real disappointments and some real heartbreak. It’s a journey. I’m a very different person than who I was seven years ago when this started.”
The Knockturnal: What was the collaboration process with Curtis like?
Courtney Kemp: “Curtis is brilliant. Brilliant. Like new levels. He’s really good with character and story. He’s just a very smart dude. It’s been a real pleasure to learn from him. In the beginning we spent a lot of time on the phone and he would just talk and I would take pieces of what he said and put them in different characters and [parts]. I would just listen to him talk about the world and interpret it as such.”
The Knockturnal: What would your dad say about the history you made and the way the series turned out?
Courtney Kemp: “My dad was a business man so the numbers we bring in [laughter]. I think he would be more interested in the success of the show, not necessarily the content. I mean he would have watched it, but I think he would be really impressed by how well we’ve done.”
The Knockturnal: What’s something that the fans taught you about the show?
Courtney Kemp: “Oh, that they’re going to interpret it however they want to and not necessarily how I do. You know what I mean? Like, my intention is not necessarily what’s interpreted but that’s ok. You put something out into the world and people read it a specific way and you kind of understand that oh that is significant. But you put the story out there and people run with it however they want to and that’s a good thing. That’s great that people are inspired.”
The Knockturnal: Why do you think the fans are so inspired/invested in the show?
Courtney Kemp: “I have no idea. I mean, I don’t want to go too deep but you have no control over whether or not people watch your show. You really put your best foot forward, you do the work, leave it out on the field, but any given Sunday you might win or lose. You know what I mean? I don’t want to get super deep, but it’s really up to God why people watch it or don’t. You can’t make people physically turn the dial. For me, what I think I’ve done intentionally to get people to watch more: cliff hangers, surprises, making sure every episode has something that makes you go woah. And then every so often you’ll get somebody on Twitter who says, I saw that coming and I’m like, no you didn’t because I know I hid that four different ways. You know what I’m saying? But that’s what it is, I’m just trying to keep you from knowing what it is.”
The Knockturnal: What’s something you want your fans to remember long after the finale season?
Courtney Kemp: “I hope they remember us as a show where people of color got to be complicated and weren’t either good or bad.”
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