Isaac Keys on Joining Starz’s ‘Power’ Universe


By Barb Oates

Executive producer and writer Courtney Kemp continues to build her Power empire with the latest spinoff, Power Book IV: Force, premiering Sunday, Feb. 6, on Starz.

This installment follows fan favorite Tommy Egan (Joseph Sikora) as he leaves New York for good after losing Ghost, LaKeisha and the only city he has ever known. Chicago was supposed to be a quick stop, but instead, Tommy finds himself straddling the line between the city’s two biggest drug crews, breaking all the rules — once again — in his quest for total power. There he meets up with Diamond (Isaac Keys), who’s not too happy to return to the streets after a 15-year prison sentence and find Tommy trying to run the show.

Keys, a former NFL linebacker before he turned to acting, explains that in the Power universe, there is limited trust and a lot of action. Here, he shares some of the details of the latest installment in the Power franchise.

The Power universe is unstoppable. What did you do when you learned you got the role?
Isaac Keys: When I got the role, there was a lot of yelling. There was a lot of F-bombs. There was a Michael Jordan jump in the air, and a Tiger Woods fist pump. So, it was one of those things where I knew the role. When I read the role, I was like, “This is me. This is me. This is me.” The physical description, the struggle, those type of things, I was like, “This is me.” A lot of times as actors, we don’t get those type of roles that you feel align exactly with you, but let alone actually get the role.

What is Diamond’s connection with Tommy?
Diamond is a native of Chicago. He pretty much runs the South Side of Chicago. Diamond has been locked down for 15 years in prison for some things and his dealing with his organized crime syndicate he calls CBI (Chicago Brothers Incorporated). When he comes out, all of a sudden he hears this new name of Tommy. He’s like, “Who’s this guy?” So, the series opens up with him realizing somebody else is in the city that’s kind of messing up things, and not just for him, but for the other families that have been running in Chicago.

Writer Courtney Kemp is big on her characters all having some kind of original sin in their journey. Is Diamond’s original sin the reason why he served time?
I believe so, yeah. I mean, he’s in the street life. He is part of an organized crime syndicate that he raised to be successful. I think within that, it’s held him to a certain standard to where he has to uphold a certain type of personality.

He’s a certain type of person that people either fear, respect or are inspired by. That’s heavy on a person when they try to uphold that, even when they feel like they’ve changed. I think part of why he was locked up was because of him going through this evolution of who he wants to be, who he is and who he represents to the people around him.