Power Book III: Raising Kanan Casts Natalee Linez, Annabelle Zasowski
As production continues along on franchise creator/EP Courtney A. Kemp and EP Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson's prequel series Power Book III: Raising Kanan, was underway, we're learning the names of two new members to the cast. Natalee Linez (Siren) and Annabelle Zasowski (The Blacklist) have each been tapped for recurring roles. Linez's Jessica Figueroa is a sharp and ambitious twenty-something who moves to South Jamaica, Queens from Baltimore. Famous' older sister, Jessica is swept off her feet by Lou-Lou and his kind heart. Zasowski's Nicole Bingham is a rich Upper East Side prep school student. Nicole catches Jukebox's eye at a choir competition, sparking a romance that blossoms despite the girls' wildly different backgrounds (Deadline Hollywood exclusive).
The prequel series tells the '90s backstory of Jackson's popular Power character, with MeKai Curtis portraying the young Kanan. Joining Curtis, Linez, and Zasowski are Omar Epps, Patina Miller, Hailey Kilgore, Lovie Simone, London Brown, Malcolm Mays, Shanley Caswell, Toby Sandeman, and Joey Bada$$ – with Quincy Brown and Ade Chike Torbert set to recur (and Mario Van Peebles directing an episode, according to the clapperboard in the post).
Here's Who's Who in Power Book III: Raising Kanan
Smart, driven, and still naïve, Kanan's world revolves around his mother, Raq, who raised him by herself. She is his everything. At the same time, he is beginning to get a sense of not only the world around him but his place in said world. Kanan wants to be just like his mother — and that's the problem. He's young and wide-eyed and doesn't know how the hustle works. And even more important, his mother is not nearly as keen as he is for him to follow in her footsteps. Theirs is a complicated relationship that only gets more problematic as time goes on.
Miller's Raquel "Raq" Thomas is cold, hard, and fierce — a successful and deadly woman taking names in a man's world. She is tough, resolute, ruthless, but Raq still is capable of love. Great love. The sole recipient of that affection is her son, Kanan; he is everything to her. As much as she cares for him, though, there are many instances where one wonders if she loves him for who he is or if she loves him merely as an extension of herself. The middle child of three, Raq also carries the heavy burden as the earner for her two brothers. She is the sun, and everyone else in her universe exists in her orbit.
Simone's Davina Harrison is Kanan's ideal girl, and he's been crushing on her since second grade: tough, sensitive, damaged, and resilient. Davina has a tough home life and goes out with Buck Twenty, one of Unique's crew. Her hard exterior softens quickly after she's kicked out of school for getting into a fight and Kanan shows up for her in an unexpected way. Kilgore's Jukebox is a quick-witted, fiercely independent, and strong teenage girl and a confidant Kanan. They keep each other's secrets and always have each other's backs. Jukebox is determined to forge her own path, scrapping and hustling to make money to launch her music career.
Brown's Marvin is the muscle for Rag's drug ring. Marvin is the older brother to Raq and Lou-Lou (Mays) Thomas. Father to Jukebox and uncle to Kanan. The oldest of the Thomas siblings, what he lacks in smarts he makes up for in volatile aggression. A hothead who is quick to spring to a fight, he's a mainstay of the family business, and as such, freely asserts his opinions on how to run things – though his ideas are typically dismissed by his smarter, shrewder younger siblings. His quick temper and loud personality make it difficult for his daughter Jukebox to connect with him, not that he would even notice her attempts.
Mays' Lou-Lou is Raq's confidant – the youngest of the three Thomases and uncle to Kanan and Jukebox. Unlike Raq and Marvin, Lou-Lou is seemingly gentle, soft-spoken – but he is also tough and fiercely loyal and won't hesitate to pull the trigger when called upon. Often the voice of reason, Raq trusts Lou-Lou's judgment and relies on him as her right-hand man for work and family matters. Lou-Lou has a passion for the music business and has big dreams of a future beyond the family business. Caswell's Det. Burke is Detective Howard's (Epps) newly minted partner. A third-generation cop but first-generation female detective from a long line of Irish cops. Burke comes from a long line of Irish-American cops, but is the first female detective in her family. She is hard working, smart, and desperate to project a tough exterior – both to her partner and to the hard-knock crews she encounters on patrol – but Burke is green, and it shows.
Sandeman's Symphony Bosket is handsome, suave, cool, and confident. Intelligent and intellectually curious, Symphony is getting his Masters in Urban Planning while moonlighting as a bartender at a popular night club. When he meets Raq, sparks fly – and despite their very different worlds, they quickly form an authentic romantic connection that will challenge them both. Bada$$' Unique is the biggest drug kingpin in South Jamaica, Queens – handed the keys to the castle by his brother, who's spending the rest of his life in prison. Unique is Raq's main rival in the quest for domination of the streets. Handsome, hard, shrewd, he's the man in every way. Unique runs the blocks, negotiating for control of the neighborhood, and when there's an obstacle, he's tough but fair. Until he isn't. If a rival crosses a line, Unique will always retaliate to protect his own. Brown's Crown is a local music producer.
Linez's Jessica Figueroa is a sharp and ambitious twenty-something who moves to South Jamaica, Queens from Baltimore. Famous' older sister, Jessica is swept off her feet by Lou-Lou and his kind heart. Zasowski's Nicole Bingham is a rich Upper East Side prep school student. Nicole catches Jukebox's eye at a choir competition, sparking a romance that blossoms despite the girls' wildly different backgrounds.
From creator and showrunner Sascha Penn, Power Book III: Raising Kanan finds Kemp executive producing the Power spinoffs through her End of Episode banner, alongside Jackson through G-Unit Film and Television and Mark Canton through Atmosphere Entertainment MM. End of Episode's Chris Selak and Danielle DeJesus, Shana Stein, Bart Wenrich, and Kevin Fox also executive produce, with Rob Hardy executive producing and directing the premiere episode. Lionsgate TV is the producer of the STARZ series.