Chicago’s Larenz Tate isn’t done be­ing a ‘Power’ player

Chicago Sun-Times - - ENTERTAINM­ENT - BY KATHY CHANEY, STAFF RE­PORTER kchaney@sun­ | @kathy­chaney

Hail­ing from “the 60644,” near Colum­bus Park on the West Side, Larenz Tate was able to draw from Chicago’s sto­ried political his­tory for his char­ac­ter as Coun­cil­man Rashad Tate in Starz’s “Power.”

It’s a role that wasn’t the ini­tial plan for him.

“I orig­i­nally was go­ing to play the lawyer, Terry Sil­ver. I was work­ing on an­other project so I couldn’t do it. I called the cre­ator of the show, Court­ney Kemp, and I was like, ‘Look, I still want to be on the show. What do you need me to do? I’m happy to do an episode.’ And she said, ‘Lis­ten, I have a char­ac­ter that we’re work­ing on. It’s ac­tu­ally more than one episode. So, that would be about four episodes. Would you be in­ter­ested?’ I said, ‘Ab­so­lutely,’ ” Tate told the Sun-Times dur­ing a re­cent trip home.

The cor­rupt New York coun­cil­man, who is a for­mer po­lice of­fi­cer, was in­tro­duced in sea­son four and rode the wave un­til the se­ries ended in Fe­bru­ary af­ter six sea­sons. His in­spi­ra­tion for the role? “Chicago pol­i­tics. … Just the his­tory of our pol­i­tics, an un­der­stand­ing it’s a cold world out here. There’s a cer­tain kind of grit that Chicago has that is pal­pa­ble enough that we can have a grit­ti­ness to us, but it’s one of those things that we know how to smooth out. It’s some­thing we can nav­i­gate, and it’s the thing that kind of keeps most peo­ple who are from Chicago thriv­ing. I think that’s what I brought to Rashad,” he said.

He even got a chance to work on the show with one of his older broth­ers, Lah­mard Tate, who played a cop and his brother.

The broth­ers are used to work­ing be­hind-the-scenes on projects with their other brother, Lar­ron Tate, through their com­pany TateMen En­ter­tain­ment. But to be on­screen to­gether, feed­ing off their real re­la­tion­ship, was mag­i­cal.

“The im­pact was amaz­ing. It was a spe­cial mo­ment for us and the view­ers. It had been a long time com­ing for us to get back to­gether in front of the cam­era vs. cre­atively be­hind the scenes. And to con­vey a bond through TV and it be cap­tured and given to the world, man, what an awe­some time,” Lah­mard Tate said.

The end of “Power” doesn’t mean the end of Rashad, who is set to head­line an up­com­ing spinoff se­ries starring Larenz Tate. An­other spinoff, “Power Book II: Ghost,” pre­mieres Sun­day.

“I think I’m go­ing to pop in an episode just to kind of see my char­ac­ter so you don’t lose any of the ‘Power’ char­ac­ters that are com­ing. You’ll see a few that will bleed in and out, just as a re­minder,” Tate said.

Also Sun­day, Tate delves more into his fam­ily life and iconic roles such as Dar­ius Love­hall in “Love Jones” on the third sea­son opener of “Un­cen­sored” on TV One. The 1997 love story set in Chicago was the first time he got a chance to work at home.


Chicago na­tives Lah­mard and Larenz Tate pose dur­ing a re­cent home­town visit.

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