‘Power Book II: Ghost’: How Courtney Kemp Tells Actors They’re Being Killed Off of the Show
Power Book II: Ghost has been one of Starz‘s most popular shows since its 2020 premiere. It’s the second chapter in the Power universe, centering Tariq St. Patrick in the aftermath of his father’s death. Desperate for money, Tariq follows in his dad’s footsteps to become a drug dealer. But of course, that comes with its own problems.
Like the original series, Ghost is chockablock with violence and death. It’s what makes the show what it is. Creator and showrunner Courtney Kemp revisited some of the big deaths so far and talked about how she breaks the news to the actors in a recent discussion online.
The body count of ‘Power Book II: Ghost’
Power Book II: Ghost begins in the days after Tariq shot and killed his father, James “Ghost” St. Patrick. Tariq continues to hold on to the idea that he’s not a monster. But, as the characters so often put it, bodies follow him everywhere. In season 1 alone, there were a number of deaths, including Frank Tejada (David Zayas), Danilo Ramirez (Shalim Ortiz), Rico Barnes (Jackie Long), and, most notably, Jabari Reynolds (Justin McManus).
The bodies have continued to pile up in Power Book II: Ghost Season 2, with people like Lil’ Guap (Marcus Anderson) and Carrie Milgram (Melanie Liburd) all losing their lives. And more deaths should be expected in Power Book II: Ghost Season 3, which is now filming.
How Kemp tells the cast of ‘Power Book II: Ghost’ about their character’s deaths
Kemp spoke about how she tells the actors of their character’s deaths on Instagram Live.
“When we make the decision in the writers room and we know it’s coming, we break the episode,” she explained. “For those who don’t know what break the episode means, we decide what all the beats are going to be and then someone writes an outline and that just stays in the network and the studio and then we write a script. And before the script goes into production draft [where the whole crew gets it], I traditionally have talked to the actor myself.”
“I tell them why, I tell them how they’re gonna die, what the episode is, why, because a lot of times you want to make sure people understand it’s not about their performance,” she continued. “… And a lot of times, as I have very smart actors, they figure it out in advance. Or the character does something and when the character does that, about a week later the person will call me [wondering about their fate].”
Kemp cited Melanie Liburd, who played Carrie Milgram, as an example. She claimed Liburd came to her with questions about her character’s fate as early as episode 3. “And I was like, ‘Uh, we’ll talk about it later,’ because I don’t try to tell people too much in advance,” she added.
More ‘big deaths’ to come in the upcoming episodes
Elsewhere, Kemp warned that more “big deaths” would come in the remaining episodes of Power Book II: Ghost Season 2.
“[At this point] we’ve got a bunch of dead Guaps, we’ve got a dead chef, we’ve got a whole bunch of deaths. So all those things have to come into play,” she stated. “And do we think, maybe because it’s episode 9, there are going to be some more big deaths? Let’s see! … There’s only two episodes left in this season, and you guys know how we do it.”
Check out Power Book II: Ghost on Starz at 8 p.m. ET on Sundays.