Sinqua Walls may be a relatively new face to many fans of the Starz hit show, Power, but he’s certainly been laying the foundation for his career over the last few years. Turns out the young, somewhat naïve, but incredibly loyal Shawn for the show we’ve all come to life is a young acting phenomenon in the making, with real life boyish good looks, and still impressively humble even though he’s surrounded by the multitude of talent that make up the show.
Sinqua, who turned 30 earlier this year is a native of Louisiana, who made the move to Los Angeles, California at a young age. He attended Beverly Hills High School and is a Graduate of the University of San Francisco arts program where he studied Theater and Film. He admits that he grew up with a love for theater and found his way on stage at a very young age. He also had a love for basketball and ended up playing some college basketball for Cal Poly Pomona. Still theater, film and the arts were his true passion and he would get his first opportunity on a big stage when he was cast in Friday Night Lights as Jamarcus Halls, according to his IMDb page. He also appeared in Lincoln Heights, Californication, Necessary Roughness, Grey’s Anatomy and played Daniel in The Secret Life of the American Teenager. In 2012, Sinqua was cast as Sir Lancelot for season 2 of ABC’s Once Upon A Time, which helped put him in the national spotlight.
Sinqua made his rounds before finding a home on Power as the son of Kanan. The first season found him caught in between a few struggles of power, but he assures us in season 2 he’s flexing his muscles just a bit more.
We caught up with Sinqua on the red carpet for the Power Season 2 premiere event in Times Square and he answered a few of our questions. He reveals just a bit more of what we can expect from the new season and gives us a bit more information about the man behind Shawn.
Parlé Magazine: How closely do you relate to your character of Shawn as a person?
Sinqua Walls: I think one of the things that we always see in Shawn is his loyalty. Even though he battles with who he’s loyal to, he is always loyal. He’s loyal to Ghost, he’s loyal to Tasha and he’s loyal to his dad. That’s something about the character that relates to me. People know me as a good person, I hope. As a friend, as a son, as a grandson, I am always loyal. So I definitely relate to that.
Parlé: How’d you initially get involved with Power?
Sinqua Walls: I got involved with Power in a very organic way. I had a business relationship with one of the casting directors when they started working with the project. She connected me with Courtney [Kemp Agboh, the show’s executive producer and creator]. Courtney saw my stuff and loved me. And it really just took a life of its own. But it was really one of those organic processes, where it was like this was supposed to happen.
Parlé: What can we expect from Shawn this season on Power?
Sinqua Walls: This season Shawn is definitely vying for his father’s attention, he’s trying to make him proud and he’s trying to put on his big boy pants to go deeper into the family business.
Parlé: Last season you and Tasha got pretty close. Can we expect that relationship to develop anymore this season? What happens between the two of you this season?
Sinqua Walls: Well, we do a lot more driving this season. I don’t know how active the partition is going to be this season (laughs), but the relationship is definitely going to expand. I don’t know, maybe even as a friendship.
Parlé: How difficult is it for Shawn to navigate that relationship with Kanan, especially considering that he’s home now. Plus he still wants to remain loyal to Ghost.
Sinqua Walls: He definitely wants to make his dad proud, even though he wasn’t there for him the entire time growing up. And I think no matter the relationship, you want to make your parents happy.
Parlé: Aside from Power, you were in a film late last year called Believe Me. Talk to us about that and how that character was different from your role on Power.
Sinqua: Yeah, Believe Me, it’s a very far cry from my character on Power. As an actor it’s fun. I grew up in the theater, I go back to my coaches, I go back to my mentors and I talk craft. I know a lot of actors that say they just walked into their role, I don’t by it.
Parlé: Seeing this cast here, watching you all it definitely seems like a great dynamic, what’s it like being part of this team?
Sinqua: That’s like family. I know a lot of casts say that but we are really like a family. Omari [Hardwick, Ghost] is someone that I definitely look up for the man that he is and for his vision. He’s definitely been a mentor to me. I’m inspired by Naturi Naughton [Tasha] and her courageousness and like how she’s so daring and will take any risk. Lela Loren [Angela] is a phenomenal artist. And Joeseph Sikora [Tommy] is just one of those jack of all trades. It’s unsung how talented he is and I’m just inspired by the person he is and by the husband that he is and the walk that he takes every day. So everyone has really lifted me up and I love that.
Parlé: What advice do you have for actors right now who are in the theater now or who are watching you and just have ambitions of being in a position like you are in?
Sinqua: Decide on what you want to do at the end of the day. Some people actually love that experience of being on stage and that’s what resonates with them, but be true to yourself. Don’t go against the grain because someone else influences you or because your peers say this is where you need to be. You go wherever you can say that you’re happy and at the end of the day you can rest your head at night and say “I’m happy where I am today.” Whether that’s film, whether that’s TV, whether it’s theater. Even if it’s behind the scenes, be true to yourself and be happy with your decisions at the end of the day and you’ll go wherever you want to go.