‘Power Book II: Ghost’: 1 Actor on the Show Was Terrified to Work With Mary J. Blige

Power Book II: Ghost is one of the most beloved dramas on TV. The series is the first spinoff in the Power Universe, and its timeline is set just after the events of the first series, which ran for six seasons. Though the original show focused on drug kingpin/businessman James “Ghost” St. Patrick (Omari Hardwick), Ghost centers on the late drug dealer’s college-aged son, Tariq St. Patrick (Michael Rainey Jr.).

The first season of the series follows Tariq trying to navigate life as a college student while getting into the drug game to earn money to get his mother, Tasha St. Patrick (Naturi Naughton), released from prison. Though Tariq was initially an innocent kid when Power began, uncovering his father’s double life and some other choices that he’s made have him following directly in the late kingpin’s footsteps.

In addition to Tariq’s story, Power Book II: Ghost has united some of the biggest legends in the music industry. From executive producer Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson to Mary J. Blige and Clifford “Method Man” Smith, it’s been amazing to see so many icons on the series. Still, one Power Book II: Ghost actor was terrified to work with Blige.

Mary J. Blige poses on the red carpet
Mary J. Blige | Leon Bennett/Getty Images

Who is Mary J. Blige’s character on ‘Power Book II: Ghost’?

Though Blige is known for her sensational vocals, on Power Book II: Ghost, the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul portrays queenpin Monet Stewart Tejada. With her husband in prison, Monet now heads the notorious crime family, and she also wields her will and control over her three children, Cane (Woody McClain), Diana (LaToya Tonodeo), and Drew (Lovell Adams-Gray).

“Monet is very black-hearted, and if you get in her way, it can be really bad for you,” Blige told the LA Times. “It’s going to be her way or no way. When the new money starts rolling in, she turns into an even bigger monster.”

The My Life legend was eager to take on the character because she recognized exactly who Monet was. “It was easy to put this character into play, because I know what Power is about,” she explained. “I grew up in the inner city, in the projects. I’ve seen what it really is, and Courtney and 50 have been so brilliant in showing it. I saw Ghost in front of my building growing up. I hung out with Monet. I knew Tasha.”

RELATED: ‘Power Book II: Ghost’ Season 2: Release Date, Plot Details, and Everything Else We Know

What will happen to Mary J. Blige’s character Monet Tejada in ‘Power Book II: Ghost’ Season 2?

Over the course of the first season of Power Book II: Ghost, we watched Monet get more ruthless, eventually ousting her son Cane from the family’s inner circle and killing her drug supplier in cold blood. Now, she’s bringing Tariq in closer to her which can only hint at what’s to come.

“In the second season, Tariq’s journey with the Tejada family will get even more complicated — and more dangerous — as he begins to understand the man he’s going to become,” Power creator Courtney A. Kemp told TVLine.”

Shane Johnson was terrified to work with Mary J. Blige in ‘Power Book II: Ghost’

While Blige has eagerly embraced her role, some of her cast members were still so in awe of her they were initially terrified to speak to her on set. Shane Johnson, who has portrayed Cooper Saxe on the original series and spinoff, was terrified to work with the icon.

“The truth is I haven’t really worked with Mary much, because the characters don’t really cross paths,” he told Tea with Tia during an Instagram Live. “I’m a huge, huge fan of hers, and I probably get a little bit uncomfortable around Mary to be honest.”

However, Johnson said Blige was warm and welcoming despite his initial apprehension.

“It’s a little intimidating to be in her presence, I mean, she’s such a legend,” he said. “And yet she comes across really gentle and really present. I think she’s incredibly talented, and she deserves all the incredible success that she’s had.”