BRIAN TYREE HENRY
IS ON A ROLL…
This has been one of the most thrilling rides,” admits Brian Tyree Henry. Already Emmy-nominated for his work in Donald Glover’s TV show Atlanta, the 36-year-old North Carolina native is up and coming in some major awards contenders: Barry Jenkins’ If Beale Street Could Talk, Matthew McConaughey-starrer White Boy Rick and, first, Steve McQueen heist thriller Widows…
What was the big draw of Widows? There’s not any bad draws there, in my opinion. I love Steve McQueen’s work – he has such a keen eye and his vision is pretty amazing. I really enjoyed the script. And Viola Davis… what else can you say? When you’ve got Viola at the helm, you can’t go wrong.
It deals with Chicago politics. Do you see it as a thriller? If you think about it, current politics
are a thriller in themselves anyway. I think that what this movie does is it shows just what happens when you push a woman to the brink when she needs to survive.
Was Atlanta a big turning point for you?
Well, hell yeah, man! Alfred is a character I don’t think we’ve ever really seen anywhere. Atlanta is definitely not a show that I’ve seen in my life like that. But what I think was great is that people are starting to realise that there are more layers to me. I think for a long time people thought I was Alfred! You’re now in If Beale Street Could Talk, White Boy Rick and more besides. How does it feel to be on this roll? People keep saying I’m having a moment. I want it to be a movement. I want to keep doing this for as long as possible and keep telling stories that want to be told. The effect of doing this stuff is what keeps me in it. It invigorates me and inspires me. JM
ETA | VARIOUS / WIDOWS, WHITE BOY RICK AND IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK ALL OPEN THIS AWARDS SEASON.