EXCLUSIVE: Lakeith Stanfield Reflects on Breakout Year and ‘Crown Heights’

Stanfield wanted to make sure that he conveyed Warner’s true experience and honored his faith in him, an actor he’d just met.

“At the Sundance Festival, when everyone gave us a standing ovation and Colin’s family came down and we were all in tears, I felt like I’d done [his story justice],” he says of the film’s January premiere in Utah. “That was all I needed. That is really why I do this.”

On the horizon, Stanfield’s star is set to continue its rise in the upcoming film Death Note, another Netflix project, where he plays a sharp detective named L, as well as the second season of Atlanta, alongside Glover and Crown Heights co-star Brian Tyree Henry. The trio has been mum about the new season, which is reportedly going into production in September for a 2018 premiere, but the audience is rabidly awaiting new material.

After years of rejection, Stanfield is certainly enjoying an upward swing, making him the runaway star of 2017. “It’s an interesting thing,” he says of the attention. “I’m glad I can be part of projects I can be proud of — that’s a cool thing.”

However, for all of his credits, Stanfield isn’t allowing anything to take him out of his element. “Be your authentic self and that’s what people what to see,” he says. “When you’re nervous, that’s not really you — that’s false evidence appearing real.”

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