After several television appearances, Larenz Tate has often talked about the challenges of being a black actor in Hollywood. But that hasn’t stopped generations of women from grandmas to college students from lusting over the 46-year-old actor.
During an interview with Essence, the “Power” star explained how he solidified his position as one of Hollywood’s heartthrobs for the last 30 years.
“I’m grateful to be considered in that space, and what can I say,” Tate said. “It’s been a fantastic journey to be on a show that continues to push the envelope and continues to elevate storytelling. I’m happy to continue to do what I love to do.”
Tate rose to fame after starring as O-Dog in the 1993 film “Menace II Society.” He went on to play heartthrob roles in “The Inkwell,” “Love Jones,” “Why Do Fools Fall In Love,” “Girls Trip,” and other classic films. But now, he’s back on television to reprise his role as crooked Councilman Rashad Tate in “Power II: Ghost,” which airs on Starz.
“For me, it’s really nice to be able to play a character who has the complexities of Rashad Tate. He’s incredibly determined, he’s motivated,” said Larenz. “In his mind, he deserves to be in public office. He deserves to have a platform to use his voice, his influence, and his resources to change things around him. But underneath it, he has some personal agendas, as we believe most politicians do.”
Tate said the “Power” series is about more than “the underworld and drug dealing.”
“It’s really about the family and the friendships and the camaraderie that people can relate to in everyday life,” he added. “It’s just that their professions or the decisions they make based on their circumstances paint them in a negative light, a stigma, or stereotype.”
He also praised “Power” creator Courtney Kemp for “valuing my career” and allowing him to share the big screen with his real-life brother, Lahmard Tate.
“I also have to shout her out and everyone who had a part in bringing my brother Lahmard Tate in, who plays Kamaal [in “Power”]. It’s really nice to work with my brother. I’m really fulfilled.”
“Power II: Ghost” premiered last year as the prequel to the critically acclaimed “Power” series. New episodes air Sundays at 9 p.m. EST on Starz.