It’s five o’clock on a Friday afternoon. Not exactly the moment you want to start an interview. As a writer you want your subject as comfortable as possible, so I fear the timing may not be ideal. Yet, at five sharp the phone rings and on the other side is a voice that is upbeat, energized and more like one of your boy’s peeping Friday night plans, rather than an actor who appears on one of the hottest shows on television.
J.R. Ramirez is currently a part of the cast of Power airing on the Starz Network. Executive produced by Curtis ’50 Cent’ Jackson, the show tells the story of James ‘Ghost’ St. Patrick, a wealthy New York City nightclub owner leading a double life as the kingpin of a lucrative drug network in New York. Ramirez plays Julio, a trusted lieutenant in Ghost’s organization. The show has been a runaway hit. J.R. chatted with ‘LLERO on everything from what we can expect on the season finale, working with Tyler Perry and 50 Cent, to diversity in show biz and the Hollywood grind.
‘LL: Congratulations on the success of the show. What’s it been like to be on one of the hottest shows on television? Which has been renewed for two additional seasons.
J.R.: It’s been great, truly a blessing for sure. And, yes, that’s correct we’ve been renewed for two more.
‘LL: So two more years of work for you?
J.R.: [Laughing] Maybe, maybe, I don’t know, I certainly hope so.
‘LL: It appears that the writers have been developing your character this season. Where would you like to see Julio go?
J.R.: They are definitely slowly fleshing him out. He definitely has an end game, a plan for everything. I think that he just wants a seat at the table at the end of it all…and it’s a possibility that it could be in the works.
‘LL: We know you’ve probably been sworn to secrecy, but what can we expect from the finale?
J.R.: You can say that again. Every time we do an interview there’s so much you want to say, but only so much you can say.
‘LL: What can you share without getting in trouble?
J.R.: Everybody dies [laughs]. Seriously, I think folks will be surprised, a few folks are taken out…I don’t think folks will see it coming. The cast, as actors we were shocked when we saw the script, we had no idea things would go down the way they do.
‘LL: It’s such a heavy and dark show as far as subject matter. What’s the environment like on set? Do you guys look to lighten the mood?
J.R.: We definitely try to find any bit of comedic light, because it is dark and heavy at times, especially on my end dealing with subject matter of drugs. So anytime we can find a way to lighten it we do. Working with 50, he’s there every day and that dude can crack jokes all day long.
‘LL: Speaking of 50, he wears two hats on the show, he’s not only an actor, but also an executive producer. What’s it like working with him?
J.R.: I find him to be really engaging. He’s been doing it for a little bit now, but it’s not his first thing, so the guy doesn’t walk in with any cocky head, you better follow my lead [attitude]. He walks in early, asks questions, is completely engaged, wanting to rehearse, wanting to dig deep and do the work. That’s something I take my hat off to, which I’ve told him several times. It’s refreshing, because as executive producer, being the person who he is, having the power (no pun intended) he could, but he doesn’t. He’s the total opposite. It only elevates all of our games, to work together and bring out the best possible product we can.
J.R.’s thoughts on the diversity of the cast, working with Tyler Perry and Julio’s fate, after the jump.