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Detroit’s own Randy Huggins talks being a writer for Starz TV series ‘Power’

Randy Huggins (Photo Courtesy Randy Huggins)

Starz’s series “Power,” staring Omari Hardwick, is back for season three, and this season is promising to be explosive. If you caught the season premiere on Sunday, July 17, then you know the writers have an amazing plot in store for viewers.

Speaking of the writers, rolling out got the chance to sit down exclusively with Randy Huggins, co-executive producer of “Power.” Huggins has been with the series since inception and he’s one of the writers who brings depth, color and a sense of reality to the characters. When we sat down with Huggins, he revealed the surprising famous connection that inspired him to write, and also how he broke into Hollywood.

See what Huggins had to say below. We want to hear from you. Leave a comment. What did you think of the season premiere of “Power”?

How did you become interested in writing?
Being a TV writer is no easy feat. At it’s core, it’s about telling stories and I come from a family of people who were very good at doing that. I was forced to take an elective course as a requirement for graduation from Grambling State University. I took a drama class and would get up to act out what happened to me the night before. This [woman] in my class named Ericka Wright was the first person to tell me to write those stories down because my stories sounded like something in a book or movie. Two  years later, I found out Ericka Wright’s stage name was Erykah Badu. She was the first person to encourage me to write.

Breaking into Hollywood is difficult, even more so for a Black male. Tell us how you got your big break.
I’m from Detroit, a blue collar town, which is where I got my hustle. But my ability to analyze situations and think critically came from Grambling State University. It was hard for a Black guy to break into Hollywood when I did because there weren’t as many outlets as there are now. The main reason it happened was God and persistence, of course. But also my mother, who’s also in the Woman’s Softball Hall of Fame. I grew up traveling  with her team all across the country, watching her play on teams where she was the only Black player and I was the only Black kid. This taught me how to interact with other cultures from an early start so that when it was time for me to do that again in Hollywood, it wasn’t a hard transition for me.

“Power’s” storylines are intriguing, and so close to real life. How can you relate to the characters so well?
I love writing for “Power.” I know that world and all the characters that encompass it, but I don’t want to get pigeon-holed into only telling stories about drug dealers, gang bangers, and cops. Black people are much more diverse than that and so are the stories that I want to tell. I don’t want to tell Black stories, the same way I don’t want to tell stories about men. I’m a writer with a big imagination and a lot to say.

What were you doing before you became a writer on “Power”?
I used to teach 5th grade on Detroit’s Eastside and tell my students they could be anything they wanted to be, even though I wasn’t following my own advice so I packed my bags and moved to Los Angeles to become a writer. I hope this move and my success inspired them to do the same.

Check out pictures from Huggins’ surprise welcome home celebration in Detroit earlier this year. Huggins’ family and friends surprised him with a party welcoming him back to Detroit.

Photo Credit: Porsha Monique for Steed Media