Lakeith Stanfield – “The Photograph” and Picking Diverse Roles That Speak to Him | The Daily Show

Lakeith Stanfield – “The Photograph” and Picking Diverse Roles That Speak to Him | The Daily Show

February 22, 2020 100 By Kailee Schamberger


Welcome to the show. -(cheering, screaming, whooping)
-Thank you. Hi. Such a beautiful
crowd here. Wow. The pitches of the screams
are not usually that high. Although, I feel
you’re used to that. Um, before we get into
this movie in particular, is it safe to say that you are the least typecast actor
in Hollywood? Because, like, like,
if I think of all the movies that you’re in,
whether it’s Uncut Gems, you know, whether…
whether it’s, like, Get Out– I mean, like, Get Out, like, that was
an extreme feat of acting. ‘Cause you were playing
a black man who was a white man at one point
who used to be a black man. That’s powerful act…
Not many people can do that. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Well, I appreciate it. Um, I… I would hope
I was, uh, the least typecast. You know actors–
we… we don’t like that. Right. You want to be in as many
different roles as possible, and that’s something
you’ve achieved. Do you… do you purposefully
choose your scripts like that? So do you go, “I’m gonna go
from one movie to another type”? You don’t just stay
in one genre? Yeah, I kind of try
to pick things that speak to me. Um, so, you know, as I grow,
um, the kind of things that I’m attracted to and affect
me kind of, uh, sort of expand. -Right.
-So yeah, I just… I just try and be close to
the things that mean something. I’ve been very fortunate
to be a part of… of a whole bunch
od different kinds of projects. Not-not many actors
would take the chance of going into a rom-com,
you know, because it’s… it’s-it’s scary
when you’ve gone from drama. Comedy’s difficult.
You know, romantic comedies– in many ways, people are saying
you’re bringing them back now. You know? It’s been,
like, what, 15 years since we lived
through the golden age of black romantic comedies. You know, Thin Line
Between Love and Hate, with the, you know…
Like, all those movies. -Love & Basketball, et cetera.
-Right. You’re seeing on screen two
amazing actors that people love. You know,
it’s yourself and Issa. -Mm-hmm. -Is that part of
the reason you chose the movie, where you were like,
“Oh, yeah, this is, you know, this is, like,
for this generation now”? It was. I wanted to see
a resurgence of dark-skin love
on-on-on screen, and so… (cheering, applause, shouting) Yeah, so that was…
that was a big part of it, but the story
was written very well. -Right.
-I wanted to work with Issa. Um, I wanted to work
with Stella. And so everything fell
into place in a nice way. You, uh, you’ve been called one of the mavericks
of the red carpet. Just by people. -You know, most people…
most of us, -(laughter) when we’re on a red carpet, we try and-and look, like,
appropriate for the carpet, like, we would, like,
stand up and do the… You… you have broken
the red carpet multiple times. Like, you get there,
and you just do your own thing. -(whooping)
-You sat down… See? Like,
you just sat there at the Emmys. And then, I think there was
another red carpet where, yeah, you just came in, right,
in a, in a ski mask, right? And then, one of my favorites
was at the Joker premiere. You just showed up as the… You, you don’t take it, you
don’t take it seriously at all, -do you?
-I don’t give no (bleep), no. -I don’t.
-(applause and cheering) Is there a reason? -Uh, just got to be
comfortable, man. -Right. You got to do things your way,
and, you know, you got to enjoy yourself, I think
is the most important thing. Sometimes, it’s a little bit too
high strung and-and stressful… -Right. -…to, like,
to appease everybody, so you got to have fun, and that
one, my legs were just tired, -so I sat down.
-(laughter) Wait, your legs were tired,
like, just from standing -on the thing? -Yeah,
it was a lot of interviews, so I was going up and down, so
let me take a seat real quick. (laughter) I like that about you, LaKeith. You just got this, you got
this swagger about you, where you just like,
“I’m just gonna do my thing.” Yeah, you got to, man. It’s too stressful trying
to make everybody happy. (laughter) (applause and cheering) Um… Issa’s in the movie. She’s one of the funniest
people, both, like, scripted and off the cuff. Um, the two of you are,
uh, you know, y-you’re playing
back and forth together. I’ve always wondered this. When you are
in a movie like this, is there a point
where you find yourself, like, by mistake
falling in love? -I think– -‘Cause you’re
opposite, I’ve always genuinely, I’ve always wondered that, like,
when you’re, when you’re in a romantic movie
with somebody. Yeah, I think you’re trying
to design a connection that will translate on camera,
so I think you’re trying -to get into a flow with
the person. -Right. Like, kind of break
down the barriers of, uh, what you don’t know. And-and tap into
what you do know, which is a sort
of universal spirit. So, that way,
when the cameras come on, there’s a natural thing
going on, so, yeah, it’s just rapport,
breaking down the ice, cracking jokes, kicking back,
you know what I mean? Relaxing and… and then
when you get on screen, it looks like you guys have
known each other, but you know, there’s different
ways of chipping at it and getting at it, but I think
the main, best way to do it is just trust–
get in there, trust fall. Go in naked, you know,
emotionally, so to speak. I’ve heard, I’ve heard directors
say about your acting, specifically, that what
makes LaKeith special is that you don’t care about
what you look like on screen. -Mm-hmm. -You care about putting
the character, you know what I mean,
getting the character across. -Yeah. -You-you, you’ve been
acting since you were, like, -what, 14, maybe even
earlier in life? -Yeah. Where do you, where do you
develop that from? Where do you just wake up and
go, like, “No, I’m, “I’m fully in this,
I’m not LaKeith in this moment. I’m fully this person,
and I don’t care what I look like, I care
what the person sees”? -I’m a little crazy, um…
-(laughter) But, also, I think it’s, uh,
you know, first of all, it’s-it’s appealing
to the story. -The story’s the most
important thing. -Yeah. And then, the characters
come secondary. And what I look like really
ain’t got nothing to do with nothing, so I just kind of
try to focus on the job and execute, like, that’s the… But if I need to be worried
about what I look like, -then I’m worried, you know?
-Right, right, right. Just-just depends
on what’s necessary. Where-where do you go from here? Because, I mean,
you’ve been in, I guess, like, a thriller-slash-horror,
y-you’ve been in an action, you’ve been in, like,
surreal, dark comedies, you’ve been in romantic
comedies– where-where? Is there something that you want
to do that you haven’t done? Is there, like
a dream project you have? Yeah, I think my dream project
is the one I have coming out. Um, it’s a untitled
Fred Hampton project. I did it with Shaka King
and Daniel Kaluuya is my costar and…
it’s just a beautiful story that’s about this guy who really
fought for our freedom and our love and our ability
to-to love and express the way we want to and those are
the kinds of things I want to be a part of. If I can talk about something
and say something that means -something when I got
an option to? -Mm-hmm. That’s what I want to do,
so that’s my kind of project. -That, that sounds amazing.
-(applause and cheering) Yeah. That really sounds amazing. I’m excited to see you,
uh, in this movie. I’m excited to see what you do
for the rest of your career. I’ve, I have money
on you beating Samuel L. Jackson’s record
for the most movies. -Oh, shit. (laughs)
-I genuinely, I think, I think you might. That be fine. (laughs) Thank you so much for
being on the show, my friend. -Pleasure, man.
-Great having you here. -(applause and cheering)
-The Photograph will be in theaters February 14. Valentine’s Day, people. LaKeith Stanfield.