A ‘Power-ful’ name

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Tyrone Power Jr. plays the love interest to Linda DeMetrick's role of Maureen in "The Beauty Queen of Leenane," now playing weekends at the Malibu Stage Company.

Tyrone Power Jr. is the fourth to carry on a name that has been a legend in the acting world since the late 1800s. He stars in “The Beauty Queen of Leenane” now playing at the Malibu Stage Company.

By Candice Arciaga / Special to The Malibu Times

Film, stage and television actor Tyrone Power Jr. carries a name that is a significant legacy within the entertainment industry. His father, Tyrone Edmund Power, was a legendary Hollywood film star. His great-grandfather, Tyrone Power Sr., was famously known for his stagecraft and later for his film work. And his great-great-grandfather, Tyrone Power, was a renowned Irish actor/comedian.

However, Power Jr. said in an interview with The Malibu Times, “Rarely do people recognize me for my father. There are times when fans that are old movie buffs, share their appreciation for my father, and that’s great to hear, but usually very few even put two and two together.”

A Malibu resident for about nearly a year now, Power is currently starring in the play “The Beauty Queen of Leenane” at the Malibu Stage Company, which opened last Friday night.

He had just finished a stint on the film “Mad Mad Wagon Party,” a Western spoof in which George Kennedy stars. He plays “an undertaker who is very somber. It’s a silly comedy,” Power said. “I was struggling just to allow them to let me leave, so I could do the play this weekend. In movies, there is a lot of waiting around, you can shoot the same 30-second time slot over and over again, then wait around for four hours. It’s a lot of waiting. “It’s a different experience from film to [stage],” Power said. “On the stage, from start to finish you’re on your own.”

Contrary to the sex-symbol roles his father played, Power Jr., following the talent of his great-great-grandfather, is much more interested in comedy. “Those comedic parts are hard to land,” he said. “Today they want someone who is physically funny looking. I’m usually more so considered for the Cary Grant [funny man] roles, for example, Charlie Sheen in ‘Two and a Half Men.'”

Despite the strong acting legacy of his family, Power was not at first enchanted with the idea of an acting career. “In college I thought the theater was filled with pretentious actors,” he said. “It wasn’t until a buddy of mine went to audition for the school play that I was more open to the idea.”

Power landed his first role in his school’s production of Shakespeare’s “Macbeth.”

“I was cast as Malcolm, Macbeth’s son,” he said.

Power went on to study theater in New York at The Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre with Sanford Meisner, “one of the greatest acting coaches,” he said.

Today, Power and wife, Carla Collins, who is from Canada, are working on an upcoming television show, where the couple takes on a comedic role of a husband-and-wife. Concurrently, E! Entertainment Canada is turning the show into a reality series with behind-the-scenes filming of its production. “The tentative title is Carlafornia, the idea being what happens when the Canadian comes to L.A.,” Power said.

Meanwhile, Power will perform his role as Pato, the love interest in “The Beauty Queen of Leenane,” a tale of struggle of codependency between a mother and daughter, at Malibu Stage through June 8. “Acting is great, but it’s about finding good roles,” Power said.

Power keeps his health in check, not only because of his family’s history-both his father and grandfather died of heart attack- but he said it helps his acting.

“I exercise religiously. In order to act you need to have energy to give out energy,” Power said. “I’m one of those people that has to keep moving, weights, the treadmill, swimming, cycling, yoga. I’ve become more health conscious, lots of juicing [vegetables and fruits], it gives you 30 percent more energy.” Power continued the family’s name legacy with his son, whom he and his ex-wife, DeLane Matthews, named Tyrone Keenan. “I didn’t want to lay it on him, this way he can go by Tyrone or TK,” Power said.

Family is important to the actor: “Staying connected with my wife, and spending time with my son are very important to me along with acting,” Power said.

And Power has taken to Malibu. “I love it here,” he said. “There is a strong sense of community you find here, it’s different than other cities. The ‘wave at you on the street,’ neighborly [hospitality].”