We knew Method Man could rap fast, but the emcee, whose real name is Cliff Smith, plays a fast-talking lawyer named Davis MacLean on Starz’s “Power” sequel series, “Power Book II: Ghost.”
Having viewed the first two episodes of the drama, we can’t really tell if we’re supposed to like or dislike his character — and that’s exactly how Smith wants it.
Smith told TheWrap he wants you to “take Davis MacLean with a grain of salt.”
“He’s kinda teetering on: You don’t know whether you like him or don’t like him yet, whether you trust him or don’t trust him yet,” Method Man said of the MacLean character, the “biggest challenge I’ve ever had as far as acting.”
Remind you of any high-profile lawyers you know, real or otherwise?
“I did kind of pattern him after Denzel (Washington’s Joe Miller character) in ‘Philadelphia,'” Smith said, but with some “swagger.”
And then there is the real-life example.
Smith said MacLean is like “Johnnie Cochran…but with that slight hint of narcissism — i.e., our president.”
Davis MacLean and Donald Trump both have a “me, me, me thing” going on, but Smith’s pay-TV defense attorney is more “conscious” of his self-absorption.
You’ve likely noticed we’ve alternated calling the man behind MacLean by his given name, Cliff Smith, and his rap name, Method Man.
That’s partially because we have a fondness for his hip-hop career, and partially because even the Wu-Tang Clan member doesn’t know what to call himself.
He’s credited on “Ghost” as Cliff “Method Man” Smith, which echoes most of what you’ll find from his IMDb resume.
Is Smith goal to eventually complete the transition from “Method Man” to “Cliff ‘Method Man’ Smith” to simply “Cliff Smith” — as former WWE Superstar “The Rock” is well on his way to just being “Dwayne Johnson” to America?
“I had fought with that for a while and I wanted that,” Smith admitted. “But ‘Method Man’ is what got me here, so I wear it like a badge of honor. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what they name me, so long as I’m present and I’m there.”
Smith is present and there in “Power Book II: Ghost,” which debuts Sept. 6 at 9/8c on Starz. The following week, the “Power” sequel moves to its regular time slot at 8/7c.