Brian Tyree Henry

Chattanooga Times Free Press - Parade - - Personality -

The co-star of the FX se­ries At­lanta, 36, also shines in the re­cent movies Wi­d­ows and White Boy Rick and the up­com­ing If Beale Street Could Talk (Dec. 14). He plays ex-con Daniel Carty, along­side Stephan James, in the drama from writer-di­rec­tor Barry Jenk­ins, whose movie Moon­light won the Best Pic­ture Os­car in 2017.

Tell us about Beale Street and your char­ac­ter. Daniel Carty is a man who has been in­car­cer­ated for just be­ing at the wrong place at the wrong time, bro­ken down and beaten up about his place in the world be­cause now he’s a felon. He’s def­i­nitely not con­sid­ered a hu­man be­ing any­more.

What was it like to work with Vi­ola Davis in Wi­d­ows?

It was an out-of-body ex­pe­ri­ence. I still fan out over every sin­gle per­son that I’ve worked with. I have to step back and re­al­ize that I’m in the room too.

You come from a non-show­biz fam­ily. Who were your

inspirations? An ac­tor friend of mine gave me a book of plays that took place in Har­lem with pho­tos of Cicely Tyson, James Earl Jones, Phyli­cia Rashad, Deb­bie Allen, Sam Jack­son, James Pick­ens Jr. and Den­zel Wash­ing­ton. That gave me a vi­sion of what I’m do­ing, be­cause they started in the Har­lem Theatre Com­pany when no one in the city would do plays with black writ­ers or black ac­tors.

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