We may earn a commission when you buy through links in our articles. Learn more.

Tommy Flanagan: “Power is bringing a lot of truth to the screen”

Tommy Flanagan, one of the stars of Power Book 4: Force, tells us about working with Joseph Sikora, entering the TV series, and how Glasgow still inspires him

Tommy Flanagan in Power Book 4: Force

In Power Book 4: Force, Tommy Egan (Joseph Sikora) returns to the long-running TV series, with his eyes set on the city of Chicago. As it’s Tommy, he’s keen to disrupt things and make himself known to anyone worth doing business with.

Someone who’s not too keen on this is Walter Flynn, a major crime boss played by Tommy Flanagan. While he’s getting old, Walter has no ideas about slowing down or handing over any of his empire, least of all to some rowdy upstart who’s just arrived. When Walter and Tommy meet, it’s less than amicable, and things deteriorate from there. Flanagan is one of several newcomers, including Isaac Keys and Gabrielle Ryan, who form Tommy’s Chicago experience.

We caught up with Flanagan about joining Courtney Kemp and Curtis ’50 Cent’ Jackson’s universe. He takes us through how easy a decision it was to join the cast, his inspirations for the role, and whether we’ll ever see him back in the world of Sons of Anarchy again. Most importantly, he explains how everything that matters comes back to his beloved city of Glasgow, Scotland – even if it’s Baltic whenever he visits.

The Digital Fix: Hi, how are you?

Tommy Flanagan: Anthony, good Irishman. How are you, son?

Doing very well, I’m actually in Glasgow now!

Where are you?

I’m in the West End.

I was going to say, you’re up the West End aren’t you!

Just what Glasgow needs, another Irish blow-in, eh?

Glasgow is full of Irish, God bless her, and so it should be.

We’ll start off with an easy one – how did you come to be a part of Power Book 4: Force?

Got a Zoom call, and they said ‘Want to be part of the Power universe?’ I said ‘Yes please, thank you very fucking much’. ‘You’re going to be working with Joseph Sikora and 50 cent’ – OK! Yeah, and off I went to Chicago. I went from the 2020 lockdown. straight to Chicago in February of 2021, and then it was another lockdown. We were in this big Covid-19 bubble. So all we did was really film and go home. This great city of Chicago that I couldn’t explore. It was fucking deadly, deadly, except I couldn’t do a fucking thing, I lived like a hermit.

YouTube Thumbnail

One of my favourite scenes that I’ve watched is when you meet Tommy Egan. It’s this big, grand ceremony. What was it like working with Joseph Sikora?

You know what? Joseph Sikora is an incredible actor. And the character of Tommy on this show, he’s just real. He’s truth. I saw that guy on the streets of Glasgow, it was so crazy, there’s just so much truth behind it, and Joseph plays him beautifully. It’s a pleasure to watch and it’s a pleasure to be in that arena and playing Walter, you know, he sees [Tommy] as a young version of himself, and that brings a bit of fear, I think.

It’s a steal: The best Netflix series

But I don’t think Walter’s got much fear in him, because he got to Chicago when he was 20-years-old, and now he’s like the top man of Chicago. For a man to hold that power for years wasn’t fucking easy, and he still holds that power, so we’ll see what damage Tommy Egan can do, when he arrives.

Your character reminds me a little of Brian Cox in Succession. This cruel boss who’s gotten to where he is by doing things a certain way, but now his ways are becoming part of the past. What were your inspirations for your performance?

Me, fucking me. [Laughter] I got into acting when I was 25, not know how or why, but that became my life and that was my career and I fucking love it. I draw on people I know from back where you’re sitting, and I draw on my past. A lot of characters I’ve met growing up. Normally I’ll find little pieces of them, and then a little web of dark markers back there, and bring them to the forefront.

I was thinking that your character could be a villain on Sons of Anarchy. Did you find yourself thinking of Chibs and the Sons at all while working on Power?

Just two completely different guys. Old Chibs was just a footsoldier. No one could understand a word that came out of his fucking mouth, which was my choice, because they said, ‘No, we want you to do a Glasgow accent’. And I said, ‘Well, if I’m going to do a Glasgow accent, then I’m going to do a fucking Glasgow accent, and if you don’t understand what I’m saying then go and fuck, innit?’ and they didn’t understand a word I said. So, for the first two seasons, I sat on the bench not saying a fucking word. But it all came around.

YouTube Thumbnail

There’s no comparison there. One is a ruthless businessman gangster, he’s a kingpin. Like I say, old Chibs is a footsoldier. One is a boss, and he’s been doing it a long time, so he’s doing something right.

Now for the standard question – you’ve appeared in Mayans MC already, could we see you show up in season 3?

Y’know, depending on the size of the paycheck, is all I got to say about that. ‘Sons’ was a huge part of my life, and it was a lot of fun, and I love the guys and I love the girls, and I love the people involved. Well, most of them. Seems so long ago now, Sons of Anarchy, a long time ago.

Do you direct planes coming to land, I’m just looking at your headphones [mimics air traffic controller] Sorry!

No no, you’re grand, if I don’t wear these, you can hear my noisy neighbours

Of course, you’re in one of those fucking flats on the West End, I got you, I had one of them!

Yeah yeah, the classic tenement flats.

Yes, yes, it’s like a bedsit, is that what they call them?

Close enough! Bloody freezing this time of year.

I was there in November, I couldn’t believe how cold it was. I forgot how cold it gets, when it hits your back? I’m wrapped up in all this Arctic gear and I’m just like ‘Ugh, nah’

[Laughter] Just one last question. Power just keeps growing with these spin-off series. What is it that keeps people coming back to this world?

There’s so much truth in Power, I think they’re bringing a lot of truth to the screen. It’s a world that people don’t know very well, with a lot of very well defined characters. Great production. You know, 50 Cent’s a maestro. He really knows how to orchestrate this whole thing. It’s a beautiful thing that part of it is a beautiful thing to watch, you know, so I’m excited to be in this world.

Criminal: The best thriller movies

Awesome. I’m excited to see you in it! I very much enjoy it whenever your face pops up. Thanks again for your time.

Thanks, brother, say hello to Glasgow for me, and have a couple of jars!

I’ll raise one to you!

Bless you, brother, good luck.

Power Book 4: Force premieres February 6 on STARZPLAY