This week, I spoke with Joseph Sikora, also known as Tommy on the hit television series ‘Power’ on the upcoming season and his character Tommy.
The Knockturnal: For starters, what did you discover about Tommy as a person in season four, that you didn’t realize in season three?
Joseph Sikora: Well, as a person, I would say nothing. I didn’t discover anything new about him as a person.
The Knockturnal: Where did you draw from in bringing out the emotion when Tommy finds out about his father Tony?
Joseph Sikora: I guess what I drew on was just because I knew my father growing up, and I still know my Dad. My dad has always been very very present in my life. My parents are still together and have a wonderful relationship. So I think I did what most actors do and you ask questions to people who you find may have been in similar situations. I have friends and people I’m close with who never knew their fathers, who have had absentee fathers, and they always told me that, no matter how far, no matter even by kind of this if they know the father done something awful or they were told by the mother that their father was so awful, the prospect of having this person back in their life is so strong, that they keep giving these chances and keep giving these promises that its almost an all or nothing situation to me that its so overwhelming. And I ask people to you know, please expand on that for me and that’s saying that its like, what people often do is that they are either like, I cant, I don’t ever want to meet this man. I don’t ever want to have anything to do with him, or this is my father, I need to accept him, he needs to be part of my life. So there’s not a huge amount of gray area. So what I did with Tommy was have, this kind of Tommy really trying to fight against the fascination, and fight against his, kind of his inner self that knows better than to kind of blindly trust somebody, or without really researching and knowing the person, bringing them into the inner fold, and fighting against that and still kind of not being able to help it. Now granted I don’t, like I said I didn’t learn anything new about Tommy because I self-actualized Tommy before, the first day of the first season, of the first scene that we ever filmed. I had to have that character fully self-actualized, however, the writers, what the writers obviously are responsible for is pushing that story in whatever direction they want, and then I have to apply the character that I’ve already created, and then so it’s a combination. Tommy isn’t just my combination, its also Courtney A. Kemp, and Gary Lennon, and Omari Hardwick. So with the father, was fighting kind of against the initial impulse, to just, I don’t want anything to do with this man, so now its between that either all or nothing, trying to balance it but not being able to, and you know, we’ll see if the story supports that decision.
The Knockturnal: In what ways do you feel Tommy feels guilty or responsible for Raina’s death?
Joseph Sikora: Oh god, that’s a great question. I think that Tommy out of everybody is the most, hey that’s what you get, you signed up for this, those are the rules of the street, and Tommy is an enforcer because he plays by the rules of the street, because he sees someone trying to get away, he’s like no, no, no, you signed up for this. And this is a possibility and it’s going to happen to you, however, I think this is such a harsh casualty of war for him. Something that he, it’s almost like Tommy, a lot of people are like, this never should have happened, you know this never, and Tommy’s like this could have happened, and it did. It’s the worst-case scenario. So I think that Tommy does in some capacity, I don’t know if he feels, he does, he does feel some responsibility, but he feels the most responsibility for revenge. Because that’s, that’s his character, that’s his personality, and I’ll take care of it. And I think he just was really credibly, it destroys him as well as bringing him back to the reality that this is his family.
The Knockturnal: And also, toward the end of season four, we see the dynamic between the relationship between Kanan and Tommy shifting, so how would you describe the change, and what surprised you the most about it?
Joseph Sikora: Again, I wasn’t totally surprised at anything; it seemed like pretty natural evolution, but to describe it to me at first would have been when Kanan get out of prison, specifically, Tommy wants to show Kanan, look how good I did. You know, you can tell there was a dynamic. Tommy knew that Kanan was always, you know, clowning him a little bit, thumbing him a little bit, but there is an underlying respect for Tommy because Kanan’s no dumby, he understands how dangerous this, you know this kid, and then who’s become this man is. But Tommy feels, now at this point, no obligation to explain or show Kanan anything. And as much as Tommy is wise to respect the force that is Kanan, if it has to go heads up, it has to go heads up, and that’s just the way its gonna go. So that’s where we’re at right now with the two of them.
The Knockturnal: Also, in what ways do you feel Tommy could have better planned his war that he planned to embark on in the episode “It’s Done”?
Joseph Sikora: I think that he could have, part of the answer is in the question. He could have planned more. I think he relied too much on finding his own way rather than mirroring Ghost’s style of finesse, he’s getting, he’s understanding how to utilize Ghost’s style of finesse. Now better at this point in time, however, I think that he kind of become, because he’s now understanding how to use the finesse of not just force, he’s kind of equal parts Kanan and equal parts Ghost. He’s not afraid to do the work, and go block to block to get back his empire, but then also not micromanage as much. Tommy’s big problem as we’ve seen continuously is that he’s a micromanager. He puts Julio in charge, Julio can’t get stuff done, so Tommy goes and gets it done. But you shouldn’t be, you know he doesn’t, he shouldn’t be going street level and running people over. He shouldn’t be going to take care of people are just you know small time distributors within a street gang, but he will because he wants that res–Tommy will do that respect, Tommy does too much stuff just because he can, and he should learn how to distribute his power better, which is something Ghost is very good at. But, I think in season five we will see him try to utilize what he has access too.
The Knockturnal: Can you describe to us a significant moment or anything that happened offset that helped you mold Tommy better during season four?
Joseph Sikora: I don’t know, maybe my wife telling me “you better not bring that character home again, or we’re going to have a problem”. That helped me with the compartmentalization that Tommy starts developing during season four.
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Kadeem Lundy contributed reporting.