In tonight’s episode of Power, Jerry Ferrara returns as Joe Proctor, Ghost’s apprehensive attorney who’s fighting to get back his law license — if not control of his life. EW caught up with the 38-year-old actor on the show’s Brooklyn set to talk about where things stand between Proctor and Ghost (Omari Hardwick), and the location of the laptop and its inflammatory content.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Where were things left off last season for Proctor?
JERRY FERRARA: I lost my license, it was suspended, I’m trying to get it back, and trying to get more custody of my daughter. Also, there was the killing of the Homeland Security agent in my house, which is partially how they got me to perjure myself and lose my license. I’m wrapped up in that level.
You remain Ghost’s consigliere, right?
Some have used that word before. It’s one thing when Proctor has his license and is operating as a lawyer. Without that license, he still has the consigliere persona and is still getting information from Tommy and Ghost. Now the FBI is putting a lot of pressure on everyone at this point. So everyone has to cover their backs.
There’s pressure on you to expose Ghost?
Since last season, yeah. Assistant U.S. Attorney John Mak (Sung Kang) is out to get me. In turn, he is not handling the loss in court to Ghost very well and he wants to lock everybody up, and that includes Proctor. It’s very stressful. I’m telling you, I read these scripts and it takes me, like, 15 minutes to get rid of that [anxious] feeling. I’m so glad I’m not a criminal.
Your character seems like the perfect candidate to want to kill himself because of the stress.
It’s been building season after season. Going into this year, I don’t think the stakes have ever been higher. Everyone is playing for keeps now.
How does Proctor feel about Ghost these days?
I think there’s a love-hate relationship, because Proctor did not want this life. He kind of got brought into it. Ghost basically set him up knowing the weakness with his wife and her drug problem, so he kind of roped him into this world and in the same breath, once Proctor got into the world, he didn’t really run from it. He sort of liked it. You’ll learn a little bit more about Proctor’s back story this season. You’ll learn a little bit more of where Proctor was before he met Ghost. He didn’t necessarily run when stuff got out of control.
What kind of feedback do you get from fans?
Everyone wants to know what I did with the laptop after Tommy killed the Homeland Security agent in my house and I told him, “Oh, I got a guy to get rid of the body,” and, “Oh, don’t worry about the laptop.”
Remind me of what’s on that laptop.
It’s the audio file of Tommy killing Ruiz. It would bring it all down. That’s why Tommy killed the guy.
Where is the laptop? You theoretically still have it, right?
Theoretically, yes, I still have it.
Does it come up this season, theoretically?
What about Proctor and Tommy? Is your character scared of him?
I think everyone’s always a little afraid of Tommy, because you never quite know where you stand. Again, Proctor being broken down and reduced to not having a license has really hurt whatever leverage he had, because they always came to him to solve some problem. The shoe’s kind of on the other foot now. There’s a lot of good in Tommy and Proctor interacts with him this year.
What has this show meant to your career? How has it been?
Oh, my God. I enjoy it for so many reasons, besides the obvious of just really loving and enjoying everybody involved. Coming off a show for a very, very long time with Entourage and everyone kind of wondering, like, “Oh, are you gonna be Turtle forever?” now there are younger people who come up to me with no idea about Entourage or who Turtle even was. Even people my age. Like, they’ve never seen Entourage. They know me as Proctor and they want to know where that laptop is.
My wife even plays in on the joke. We’ll be at a Starbucks and someone is like … she’ll catch someone eyeing me and she’ll be like, “The laptop’s in the trunk. Don’t worry about it.” She’s a quick one.
Where is the most unlikely place you’ve encountered a fan?
There’s been lots. The weirdest experience ever, the urinal experience is always the weirdest. I don’t know why it seems like a good place for someone to have a conversation. Oh, and on my honeymoon in Bora Bora. I just recently got married, and we went to Bora Bora on our honeymoon, which is a little dot in the middle of the ocean, and met several fans of Power, which I did not think would ever happen.
A lot of the characters on the show are bad people. Are you surprised when you meet fans who are super into these bad people?
Yes and no. Again, my favorite actor of all time was James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano. He did a lot of bad things, but people just loved him. It’s almost like, how do you even get an audience to do that? To like you? That’s kind of the secret. It really comes down to good writing and good acting and good storytelling. It’s weird. I’m not saying the audience forgives Ghost and Tommy and Tasha and Angela for some of their bad deeds. You just accept the world that you’re watching and within that world, they do bad things but so does everybody.
So is Proctor going to die soon?
I think everybody thinks they’re gonna die, although no one really knows when or if. It’s really up to creator Courtney Kemp and the powers that be. I have my thoughts. I think Proctor’s a survivor. In my mind, I think he finds a way to scratch and claw and survive.
Power airs at Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on Starz.