‘Godfather of Harlem’s Cast Teases a ‘Collision of Crime & Civil Rights’ in EPIX Series (VIDEO)

EPIX’s upcoming series Godfather of Harlem doesn’t arrive until the end of September, but the cast is teasing plenty of action in a brand new featurette.

Following the real-life crime boss Bumpy Johnson (Forest Whitaker), Harlem sees him return home in the early 1960s after serving eleven years in prison. While rediscovering the neighborhood he ruled before, Bumpy quickly learns that the Italian mob has taken charge and has left things in shambles.

In the key art below, the tagline “Harlem is mine,” reads clear as Whitaker’s Bumpy takes a stand for his community.

In an exclusive featurette, Whitaker and fellow costars and creatives including Vincent D’Onofrio and Giancarlo Esposito are discussing the 10-episode crime drama, which tackles some hard-hitting subjects. Along Bumpy’s journey, he’ll be empowered by the growing civil rights movement, which inspires hope in his area suffering from poverty, crime and drug addiction.

(Credit: EPIX)

“Bumpy Johnson is a businessman, he was an intellect, he was a person of power in his community, but he’s a criminal, he’s a drug dealer,” Whitaker says. “I had to try to understand the dichotomies of who he is.”

He’ll struggle too, according to executive producer Nina Yang Bongiovi who says, “He’s a conflicted character. He is dealing in his community but he’s struggling with a daughter in trouble.” Malcolm X — a former “Harlem hustler” himself — will be part of Bumpy’s quest for redemption this season.

Through this struggle, viewers will see the “collision of crime and civil rights” says Chris Brancato who is a writer, co-creator and executive producer on the show.

Among the show’s cast are Whitaker, D’Onofrio, Esposito, Ilfenesh Hadera, Nigel Thatch, Paul Sorvino, Chazz Palminteri, Kelvin Harrison Jr. and Antoinette Crowe-Legacy. The series, which is produced by ABC Signature studios, is co-created and executive produced by Chris Brancato and Paul Eckstein, Whitaker, Bongiovi, James Acheson and Markuann Smith serve as executive producers.

Don’t miss what they have to say in the featurette above and make sure to catch Godfather of Harlem when it arrives this fall on EPIX.

Godfather of Harlem, Series Premiere, Sunday, September 29, 10/9c, EPIX