In the Showtime series, “Boss” (airing Friday nights on Starz) T.I. plays, Trey Rogers, a former gang banger with dreams of working in City Hall. T.I recently sat down for an interview to share his thoughts, appreciation, and character development of his hit show. Check out a few of the Q&A’s below:
Collider: How did you come to be a part of this show? Did they pursue you to do it, or were you looking to do more acting?
TIP “T.I.” HARRIS: I wouldn’t say that they pursued me. The opportunity was introduced to me by my manager. He let me know that there may be a role available, or becoming available, that I may or may not be considered for. When he said that, I was like, “Yeah, right.” I watched the first season because I was familiar with Kelsey [Grammer]. When I heard Kelsey Grammer and this type of character, I was interested. I’m working with Kelsey Grammer on this show where he plays a demented mayor of Chicago. I was pleasantly surprised and impressed when I saw the show, so when they made mention of it, I shrugged at it, but then they asked me to sit with the writers and producers. About a week later, they were serious about offering me the opportunity.
Did they ask you for any input into the character, or was it already developed?
HARRIS: On set, I may say that certain dialogue would be different to maintain a level of authenticity for that lifestyle. But, not during the writing process.
Since you’re new to the show, what can you say about your character and how he fits into the story?
HARRIS: His attitude and his ability and willingness to do whatever it takes is perfect. He fits right in. He comes from a different world, but the world he comes from is a world that is very useful to the people in politics. His neighborhood is the focal point of this season’s elections, and he recognizes that. He recognizes that his influence in this community could be used to carve himself out a position in a better world and create a better stage for himself. So, he takes advantage of that opportunity.
Is it important for you to be able to identify with a character like Trey Rogers?
HARRIS: Well, it’s important to understand what the writer intents to convey. Whether I identify with it or agree with it, is completely irrelevant, as long as I understand it. If I understand it, then I can convey it myself.
Was there a key to understanding this guy, for you?
HARRIS: Yeah. He’s ambitious. He’s conquered this world and it’s not enough for him anymore, so now he has to use it to get somewhere else. That’s pretty much it.
What’s it like to play out the relationship between Trey and his cousin, Darius (Rotimi)?
HARRIS: Well, I created a backstory in my head. In my own mind, I said that Trey was the cousin that no one wanted Darius to hang around. Everyone considered Trey to be bad news. Everyone wanted Darius to stay away from him, and Darius listened. So, now that Trey is in a better and more prestigious position and Darius feels that he needs his help, and Darius is the one who’s being drug through the mud, Trey is basking in that glory. That’s just my own mental conception.