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The Walton’s meet the Sopranos in the form of Starz most successful show, “Power,” a modern-day crime drama that follows a series of fictional gangs led by a cast of dynamic and likable characters. At the center of the hit show is co-star Joseph Sikora, who plays fan-favorite Tommy Egan, a hard-hitting, fast-talking gangsta who gets his hands dirty for the sake of the family.
Muscle & Fitness caught up with Joseph Sikora to discuss the evolution of Tommy, how he stays in shape with his busy schedule, and what the toughest dude on TV snacks on between takes.
M&F: Is it fun to play that kind of character: the enforcer, the tough guy?
J.S.: Yeah, it’s fun. But Tommy’s not just strictly “the enforcer.” Courtney Kemp has created a three-dimensional character in Tommy. In the first season, I tried to find the humor within the character, so during the second season, the writing was more comedic. He also has these moments of levity, real love, and loyalty—I think that you get a lot of colors of the rainbow in him.
Are there any similarities between yourself and Tommy?
We’re both loyal. Tommy takes loyalty to the extreme, but you have to take the good with the bad, with any other qualities. That loyalty can backfire like Tommy’s did when Ghost and Tasha duped him, while sending Kanan up the river. I also think that Tommy and I, we both have certain bouts of relative anger. I just know how to control mine better, because I’ve taken steps to do that.
Tommy’s situation has changed a lot since Season one. How do you feel his personality has changed?
He’s become much more self-aware now that he’s taken a bite of the apple from the tree in the Garden of Eden, to make a biblical reference. And like Adam and Eve, Tommy was unaware of a lot that was happening, but now he’s in the fold. With awareness comes a greater responsibility; it’s said that often we do better when we know better, and now Tommy knows better.
What’s the environment on set like?
It’s wonderful and relatively light for how intense it is. Omari Hardwick should be given a huge amount of credit for keeping a very professional but very human set, setting up an ensemble environment where people aren’t bowing down to the four of us leads or anything like that because everybody collaborates as an artist and actor.
We all get along, and we respect each other immensely, and that comes from the top. That comes from Courtney Kemp, 50 Cent, and Omari, and they do a wonderful job of delegating responsibility to other actors, not only expecting, but encouraging people to be their best. We have an incredibly dynamic, lighthearted but very professional crew.
What is your fitness routine?
I’m not able to get in there all of the time, but I try to stay consistent. The main thing, especially the older I get, is to just get in there. HIIT workouts are very great, kind of like the boot camp workouts. Forty minutes to an hour a day is absolutely plenty. I like to lift weights with a really high-intensity, hitting all of my major muscles groups in one workout. Twice a week, I take Vinyasa yoga; it’s great because it really stretches out the muscles.
If you could only do three exercises, what would you say the most important would be when you’re hitting weights?
I would say squats; incline press, and maybe a jump squat with a curl.
What is your diet like, and how do you stick to it with a busy schedule?
You have to set yourself up for success. Catering won’t necessarily facilitate what you need. I’ll start with a protein shake in the morning after my workout, snack on a cliff bar or apple, have a salad for lunch, and then dinner is a portion of protein with a lot of greens for fiber.
Then again, another quote from my dad is, “All things in moderation, including moderation.” Every now and again you’ve got to go for it.
On that note, what’s your favorite cheat meal?
Either a burger with French fries or a slice of pizza.
Any tips for the busy guy?
I think that the best thing is to have something on hand, like a KIND bar or a piece of fruit, at all times. Also, allow yourself to eat what you want but be smart about your portion sizes; have just a little bit of ice cream, or only one slice of pizza, or cut that burger in half. I think portion size is probably the most underestimated thing in terms of health.
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Catch Sikora in Power on Sundays at 9 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Starz.