The Brothers Tate Discuss Brotherly Dynamic, ‘Power’
It must be cool to have siblings in the same profession as you, especially when that profession is entertainment.
The comedy industry has the Wayans family.
The music industry has the DeBarge and the Jackson families.
And the dramatic world has the Tate brothers.
Actors Larenz Tate (“Love Jones” and “Menace II Society”) and Lahmard Tate (“Jason’s Lyric” and “Barbershop”) have blessed the screen for decades, while Laron Tate has played his role as a producer behind the scenes.
But in all of the years that they have appeared on screen, it has been decades since the Tate brothers appeared on screen together in the same project.
Thanks to “Power,” the Tate brothers appeared on the small screen playing actual brothers in one of the final episodes of the iconic series on Starz.
On Jan. 27, the Tate brothers sat down with RegalMag.com to talk about their relationship as brothers and their experience working together on “Power.”
Larenz portrays politician Rashad Tate on “Power,” while Lahmard portrays police officer, Kamaal Tate.
Regal: Lahmard, you said [on Jan. 26 at the “Power” advance screening in Houston] it was hard for you to play Larenz’s brother on screen. Can you elaborate on that? Why did you find it difficult?
Lahmard: I was kinda making more light at it. It’s the fact that trying to separate the true siblings to the actors but at the same time still being brothers if that makes sense…. Larenz, Laron, myself, we all support one another. So I’ve been to set with him at “Power” and here’s a time I have to be not the guy looking at his work. I have to be in a scene with him. So that’s the difference. So that’s why I was saying it was difficult to do that. But it was one time in a scene, actually in the car, I took a moment and I was just looking at his artistry. I wanted to look at it up close for a minute but it was just in rehearsal. When they said rolling and action, I was back as Kamaal. It was just differentiating the siblings from the actor-siblings.
Regal: Were y’all able to pull from real life experiences growing up as children or just real-life situations as brothers while playing Rashad and Kamaal?
Larenz: Yeah, I think so. You can see a lot of the banter that goes back and forth. Might be some light-hearted moments that you’ll see the nuances. Little things like there’s moments where we’re kinda snapping back. I can start a sentence and he can finish it. So, you saw a lot of the pace. And oftentimes when you’re trying to get your point across as family or siblings, everybody’s kinda overlapping. It’s kinda messy. And I’m happy that they kept that. It wasn’t so much of a shouting match at each other (as) much as it was just being as real as we possibly can. We didn’t want to make the scenes manufactured. We talked the way we typically communicate with one another. So that seems like it resonated in the final cut of what we saw. We talked to [director] Mario Van Peebles last night as well and he was like, “look, I’m happy it made the cut” because sometimes they may edit things out. It felt very natural for us especially because brothers kind of have a competitive nature. It’s three sons in my family. So we’re all very competitive. Supportive as Lahmard said, but we’re all very competitive. We wanted to bring a little of that competitive nature into the dynamic with these two brothers.
Regal: How do you balance being competitive and supportive without becoming too competitive?
Lahmard: I say without ego. That’s number one. There is no ego. We come into it with an honest viewpoint, right? He can share whatever he may see as a strength or a weakness, and I can take that without it being offensive.
Larenz: I think that we’re very critical of each other. But we’re mindful of what we say and how we approach one another. But if I can’t be honest with him and he can’t be honest with me, who’s gonna be? We’re not yes-men to each other and so that shouldn’t be confused or convoluted with support. And the competitive nature is that we wanna be the very best versions of ourselves as actors and as people. So there’s (a) thing that you certainly want to continue to push each other. I believe the competitive nature is more motivation than anything else.
Lahmard: I was just about to say the same thing. We’re there to challenge the person to go the extra mile.
Regal: Lahmard, (on Jan. 26) you talked about Rashad constantly being able to get out of bad situations.
Lahmard: He’s lucky.
Regal: Do you all see some similarities between the characters and yourselves as brothers?
Larenz: It’s interesting now that you point that out. We looked at Kamaal having a family. He was very established. Whereas Rashad is someone that’s a single person and more on his own.
Lahmard: A journeyman.
Larenz: And that’s something that was once our lives. My brother Lahmard settled down before I did. And I was sort of the guy trying to find what he had. And that family dynamic was the one thing I was kinda missing. And it was probably something that, Lahmard can speak for himself, maybe he saw me doing my thing.
Lahmard: Single man at the time.
Larenz: Single man at the time and he’s settled down. So you know…
Lahmard: Living vicariously through him.
Larenz: And I’m also looking at him like you got the children. You got the family. I want that. And so I feel like that seemed to be part of the set up with these two characters, it was very easy for us to…
Lahmard: Pull from.
Larenz: Pull from.