Raising Kanan: Raquel star reveals the ‘inspiration’ to play the character

Mekai Curtis and 50 Cent on set of Raising Kanan season two

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Power’s hit spin-off Raising Kanan gave viewers an insight into the upbringing of Kanan Stark (played by Mekai Curtis) who was originally portrayed by 50 Cent in the original series. Viewers also met Kanan’s mother Raquel ‘Raq’ Thomas (Patina Miller) who was a major factor in his life and the actress recently revealed where she found inspiration to play Raquel.

In order to gain a deeper understanding of Kanan’s complex character, fans were taken back to New York in the 90s when he was just a 15 year old in high school.

Despite excelling at his studies, he had no interest in education and was instead intrigued by the dangerous and fast life of crime.

Although Raq highlighted the importance of schooling and wished for her son to go to college, she was also the person he committed his first crime for.

Kanan got his first taste of being a criminal when he killed one of his mother’s rivals after he saw a group of them dealing drugs on her corner.

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Unbeknownst to him, Raq had made a deal with her rivals and had given up the street corner.

So by Kanan impulsively murdering a gang member, his family had enemies and his head had a price on it.

Raq had tried to shelter her son from all criminal activities even though she was a well respected and glamorous queen pin.

When it came to business, she was fierce, tough, direct and knew how to intimidate in order to be taken seriously in the male-dominated business of drug dealing.

Speaking to Deadline, actress Patina Miller opened up about her role and revealed her inspiration to portray Raq.

She stated: “I just started thinking about my own life as far as my inspiration, thinking about the women in my life, my mom, who was a young mother, a single mom, she had me at 15.

“So I came with some sort experience of being the child of a young mother … I grew up in the south, as a young girl wanting to dream and wanting to do this thing.

“So I just took a lot of my influences from my own personal life and all the women the strong women that I know and I put them into her.”

Throughout the series, fans learned Raq became a mother at a young age, having given birth to Kanan at the age of 16.

This was around the time she first began dealing drugs and being involved with Def-Con who was a feared gangster.

As Kanan’s father was a cop who had been investigating the criminal, he kept Raq out of the loop of the business to ensure she was loyal.

This paid off as she took over the business with her brothers when he went into jail, and after Marvin Thomas (London Brown) became an addict and went to jail for some time, Raq became the boss.

Thankfully for fans, Raising Kanan was renewed for a second season before the first had even aired and they are currently in production.

This will give viewers a satisfying conclusion to the jaw-dropping finale which revealed Detective Howard (Omar Epps) was still alive.

Raq had ordered and manipulated Kanan into murdering the police officer, however, it looks as though things could take a turn for the worse after they learn he survived.

To make matters worse, the detective was also Kanan’s estranged father and this revelation could threaten to destroy the relationship and bond he shared with his mother.

Raising Kanan is available to stream in the USA on Starz and is available to stream on Starzplay in the UK.

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