'Power Book II': Michael Rainey Jr., Gianni Paolo, and Alix Lapri on Keeping Heartbreaking Secrets in Season 3 (Exclusive)

When Tariq St. Patrick (Michael Rainey Jr.) first began to showcase some resemblance to his father's behavior in Power, viewers couldn't stand him. Flash forward to the spinoff Ghost, and in Season 3, he may just become the people's champion. He's formed his own clique, and have played the game better than anyone could have predicted. And now, he's showing that he can do so opposite of the way his father did: with loyalty and honesty. But as he's keeping it 100 with his circle around him, not everyone is returning the favor. Still, the bond between him, Effie (Alix Lapri), and Brayden (Gianni Paolo) – coupled with his strengthening ties to the Tejada crime family, Tariq can be unstoppable in the game. But the question is, does he want this long-term?

Ahead of the premiere on STARZ on March 17, PopCulture.com spoke with the trio about all of the secrets at risk of being exposed, as well as Tariq's transition from the character fans loved to hate, to the one they root for the most. Check out the full video interview on our YouTube channel.

PC: I will start with Gianni and Alix. So both Effie and Brayden are hiding major secrets from Tariq this season of Power Book II, and it appears to some of the viewers that Tariq, on the other hand, is exhibiting a lot of honesty this time around, but despite that, there's this family dynamic between the three of you. So how do your characters navigate keeping the unit together, while also trying not to have their skeletons unleashed? I guess, Alix, you can answer first.

AL: Yeah. Well, I think their plans, in a perfect world, were for it to never show up ever again. So it would be for him to never figure out that she's dead. So in that case, business as usual, we're going to sell all these drugs, make all this money, and just live happily ever after, and I'm going to run off into the sunset with him. So we'll see how that goes.

GP: I feel like that's just the way this whole entire show is. Everyone's got their own secrets. Everyone also has dynamics with people that they're keeping secrets from, and that's the show. That's really what it is. So everyone has some secret. There's not one character on the show that doesn't hide something from someone else, or else it wouldn't be Power.

MR: And it's crazy, yeah, because you just said he's kind of exhibiting honesty and stuff, he's trying to be 100 with the people that's around him; the whole time, the people that's around him is doing the complete opposite.

GP: He started it.

MR: But I mean, look, it's kind of a given. He's been lying to people, lying for a very long time, so it was bound to happen to him.

PC: Now, Michael, you're definitely right; Tariq has had some deception going on in the past, but it has been very interesting as a viewer to watch Tariq's journey. It's actually been quite amazing to see. So having gone from, excuse my words, but an annoyance to fans in the original Power, to someone who we're actually starting to root for in this season, what has been the most exciting part about Tariq's ascension?

MR: Man, the most exciting part about Tariq's... I would say, I don't know, it's a lot. It's a lot. I would say-

GP: And maybe it's seven love interests, I don't know, with the most beautiful women on TV. Maybe that's it.

MR: I mean, yeah, that's... Obviously, but Tariq, he's just living his life. I feel like the reason people are kind of resonating with him now, and kind of giving him a little more than what they've been giving him is because they kind of see the reasoning behind everything he's doing. They kind of see why he was lying to his family. They see why he told his family certain things he told them, they see why he told other people things that his family was about to do to them, all types of reasons. So I feel like once he started actually doing for people that he loved, obviously, he has his mom and grandma, people started... They had no choice but to respect it. He's grinding, he's doing what he has to do to make sure Grandma and the rest of the family's good.

PC: Now, in the screeners that we were able to see, we saw the first three episodes, we do see that there is a new dynamic between Monet and Tariq this season. The two of them are kind of in an allegiance, or as previously, Monet would've been a little bit more hesitant. So how excited are you for viewers to see how that will play out, Michael?

MR: It's going to be lit, and definitely, it was a lot of fun, because I had a lot more scenes with Mary, and being set with Mary. So that's just a given, but I'm definitely excited for the people to see kind of them work a little more together, and obviously, Tariq can't trust Monet; Monet can't trust Tariq, but in a way, they're kind of forced to work with each other. That's going to cause for some things to be shaken up. So I'm excited to see how the fans react to that.