Power Book II: Ghost star Melanie Liburd discusses Carrie’s issues

Power Book II: Ghost. Image Courtesy Starz
Power Book II: Ghost. Image Courtesy Starz /

Melanie Liburd dissects Carrie in Power Book II: Ghost.

Power Book II: Ghost has added several new characters to the Starz universe, and one of them is Carrie Milgram, played by Melanie Liburd (This Is Us). Carrie wants to help Tariq through his issues but as the TV crime drama recently revealed, she has plenty of her own.

Melanie recently spoke with Precinct TV about how she prepared to step into the Power world, her take on Carrie,and the biggest challenge that she’s had so far in the role. Get to know both Melanie Liburd and her character in our interview before you watch a new Power Book II: Ghost episode on Starz tonight at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT.

Precinct TV: How did you prepare for Power Book II: Ghost? Because the series is tied closely to Power, but nothing that happened in that show directly impacts Carrie, either.

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Melanie Liburd: I hadn’t watched much of Power at all. I’d seen bits of Power. And I’d worked with La La [Anthony] before; we did this movie together. I knew it’s a huge show and I think I’d caught clips of it. I remember in Times Square thinking wow, this show is amazing, because I’d seen this huge billboard from the last season.

But I caught up very quickly, that’s for sure. I had a call with our showrunner Courtney [Kemp] and we were just discussing the role. I remember thinking oh my goodness, I need to watch this show. I thought I probably wouldn’t be able to watch the whole six seasons. [But] I got so into it. From the first episode to the last episode…I was a fan, put it that way. (laughs)

PTV: Carrie is so different from any of the prior roles you’ve played. Was that part of the draw for you, or what attracted you to the character initially?

ML: Completely. I love a challenge and I remember picking up this role and thinking oh my God, this is terrifying. Any part that makes me think that, because it’s such a challenge, I know that I should do.

The complexities of the character—just to have this character that seems in such a brilliant position in life with her work and her career, yet she struggles in relationships due to her upbringing, relationships with her parents, childhood trauma, and how that kind of plays itself out in life. This stuff happens all the time, but we don’t often get to see it on television, and that’s exactly what drew me to this character.

PTV: Even though the characters are different, you’ve been a regular on your last several shows and worked on some high-caliber series like This Is Us. Did you pick up anything that helped in tackling your Power Book II: Ghost role?

ML: For every character, it would be a different process depending on what’s needed for the character. For this, I did lots of research on addiction and love addiction in women and how common that is. It’s more common than people realize, and it’s different to male sex addiction.I think there’s this kind of stigma that people have, because people don’t understand it. They think it’s someone that really sleeps around. It’s not necessarily; it’s someone that makes bad choices based on what happened to them and how they perceive love. That kind of detail and nuance is interesting about characters.

Power Book II
Power Book II: Ghost. Image Courtesy Starz /

PTV: The whole Power franchise is full of twists, turns, secrets and surprises. What’s been the most exciting or challenging thing for you about Carrie Milgram so far?

ML: What excites me is the character doesn’t truly come to life to me until I actually get onto the set and she’s alive with somebody else. My scene partner will bring my character to life, because you can’t really act on your own. The cast is such a stellar cast. We actually get on in real life, and the set is just a joy.

It reminds me of being in some of the ensembles in theater and in drama school, how we all kind of come together, talk about stuff, be excited about stuff. So it’s really been exciting for me in that way—just the whole work of it, and having the privilege of working with so many people that are just available to talk about work and get excited about it. That’s fun.

PTV: How much information did you have, or want to have, about Carrie and her journey in this first season? Considering this whole show is about who knows or doesn’t know certain things.

ML: Courtney was really fantastic. She gave us all a write-down of our character, like a good page of information about why Carrie behaves the way she [does]. Her relationship with her father and her relationship with her mother. How her father was this overachieving bully and then had this really complex relationship, which was quite toxic, with her mother. That was fascinating, and I used that and then built from that.

But some shows, like my last show, I didn’t know so much. And its pretty interesting. I used to think oh, I want to know everything, but actually it’s quite nice to trust the writers. It can be quite refreshing to just play it in the present moment, just really play it 100 percent and then see how you go. But it definitely helps to have some kind of background.

PTV: Now that the show has been out for a while, and people are connecting with it, is there anything else that you want to say to the fans or that’s on your mind?

ML: What’s on my mind right now? People voting. That comes to mind. But also watching the show. I’m just hoping for great success out there, because we really put a lot of heart and soul into it, and I’m really enjoying it. And I hope everyone else can enjoy it too.

Next. Starz orders Power Book II: Ghost season 2. dark

Power Book II: Ghost airs Sundays at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT on Starz.