There is probably not a rapper in the business who hasn’t approached Power creator Courtney Kemp — through 50 Cent — about guest-starring on the popular Starz drama.
And in most cases, Kemp says no.
“Everyone always wants to play the same part. They all wanna play gangsters,” Kemp tells EW. “They all wanna come in and be a power play, like a drug-dealing gangster. And, I’m like, ‘That’s not interesting.’ Nobody cares about rapper A playing that, because they’ve seen him play that in at least a million music videos. Or they’re rapping about it. It’s not that interesting.”
Kendrick Lamar, however, was different. He’ll make cameo in tonight’s episode of Power because “he showed up to win.”
“He wanted to play something crazy,” Kemp says. “You would never put in Kendrick as a gangster anyway; he’s not really that guy. He wanted to come in and play a part and really act. Most people don’t really wanna act. They wanna, like, ‘Yeah, I wanna be in that s—. I wanna have a gun, I wanna…’ and they don’t wanna act. Kendrick wanted the challenge. He wanted the next level of his artistry and his creativity to be challenged. He really wanted us to give him something.”
So does that mean he won’t be playing a gangster?
“I shouldn’t say he’s not,” confesses Kemp. “I’ll say he’s a hustler.”
She also seems to be open to more unexpected guest stars, as long as they “come in and play something they’ve never done before.”
“I always ask the actors, what have you never done before?” Kemp says. “That’s why Jerry Ferrara is playing Proctor. He doesn’t regularly play lawyers. He was Turtle [on Entourage]. And people were just offering him other Turtle-esque parts, and he was getting to play a little thing here, a little thing here. But for the most part, he hadn’t done something new. I want people to play something new. They’ll get to play dress-up, you know?”
Power airs Sunday nights at 8 p.m. ET on Starz.