After a week in the spotlight with his stand-alone episode as Darius on that odd “Teddy Perkins” episode of FX’s “Atlanta,” Lakeith Stanfield is thankful for the praise and green light to create on set.
“It’s such a free character, I can do what I want,” the 26 year old told Tasty Clips.
“A lot of it ends up making it into the show. It’s fun. The character they wrote allows me to play with him in a cool way. When I’m like digging in my nose, that’s just me taking liberty.”
Stanfield, who had pivotal roles in “Selma,” “Get Out” and “Straight Outta Compton,” also will be featured beginning April 13 in the Netflix true life religious drama “Come Sunday” with Danny Glover, Condola Rashad, Jason Segal, Martin Sheen and Chiwetel Ejiofor as controversial fundamentalist preacher Carlton Pearson, who shook his nationwide parishioners by announcing there was no hell.
He related to playing Reggie, based on a person in Pearson’s life who struggled within the confines of the church because of his sexuality.
“I was raised with a very strict church background and just always kind of felt hindered by it,” said the Victorville native. “[It’s] why once I grew up I started going on the outer fringes of freedom and acting extra, because I felt I didn’t have access to that when I was younger. This story spoke to me on that level.
“I thought it was messed up that your sexuality has to be repressed or suppressed just because of people’s belief system and I wanted to speak to that,” Stanfield added.
“I have friends who are gay and people I love and so I know that isn’t cool. That character represents someone who came to find themselves after not being able to for a long time. So yeah, I really enjoyed that.”
As for Pearson’s assertion, the actor who will next be seen in the satirical “Sorry To Bother You,” with Tessa Thompson, Omari Hardwick, Jermaine Fowler, Armie Hammer and Terry Crews, agrees that purgatory could indeed be on Earth.
“There’s no place you need to fear when you die,” Stanfield asserted. “Look at all these things you’re watching on TV about all the hungry kids. That’s hell. These people who are struggling to get by and can’t survive in a world where one guy has all the money. I tend to agree with that notion. It’s here.
“If you want to live in hell, act like a demon,” he added. “You want to live in heaven, act like an angel.”
NEXT BEST THING: The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival will stream sets by Beyoncé, The Weeknd, Migos, Nile Rodgers & Chic, Jamiroquai, Tyler the Creator, Kamasi Washington, French Montana, Chloe X Halle, Daniel Caesar, Dej Loaf, Jean-Michel Jarre and more on their YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/user/coachella) during opening weekend April 13-15.
CLIPPETTES: Pharrell Williams is the entertainment for the UNICEF Ball LA at the Beverly Wilshire on April 14; while the Branford Marsalis Quartet is jamming at the Irvine Barclay Theatre …
Halle Berry is in the process of signing on to a remake of “Jagged Edge,” a 1985 thriller which starred Jeff Bridges and Glenn Close …
Eva Longoria will be honored with the 2,634th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on April 16 at 11:30 a.m. with remarks from fellow “Desperate Housewives” star Felicity Huffman, Ricky Martin and Anna Faris …
BET has pulled the plug on their Anika Noni Rose and Ruben Santiago-Hudson-led college drama “The Quad” after two seasons …
Singer/Keyboardist PJ Morton breaks from touring with Maroon 5 to bring his band to the Troubadour on April 18 …
Crystal Fox (“The Have and the Have Nots”) and Mo McRae (“Den of Thieves”) have joined the cast of HBO’s second season of the acclaimed “Big Little Lies” …
April 19 will find Morgan Freeman, Paula Abdul, Will Farrell, Monqiue Coleman, Selena Gomez, Nicole Richie and more at the youth empowering WE Day event at the Forum …
Also that evening, Big K.R.I.T. takes the mic at Echoplex; W. Kamau Bell hosts a free (with rsvp) preview screening of his CNN show “United Shades of America” at LACMA’s Bing Theater; and Ali Shaheed Muhammad of A Tribe Called Quest and Adrian Younge spin a special DJ set for A Celebration of the Life and Birthday of Luther Vandross at Lodge Room Highland Park.
TC ON TV: April 13 – “Shoot the Messenger” (WGN): This eight-part event stars Elyse Levesque (“Orphan Black”) and Lyriq Bent (“She’s Gotta Have It”) as a reporter and homicide detective who discover a government cover-up. “Wyatt Cenac‘s Problem Areas” (HBO): The Emmy and WGA Award-winning comedian and writer explores America’s most pressing issues in this new docu-series.
April 14 – “Trading Spaces” (TLC): Carpenter Carter Oosterhouse and returning legacy designer Laurie Smith told Tasty Clips to expect a lot of special guest appearances and surprises for the return, after 10 years, of the home design series that launched a TV genre. Part two of the reunion show will precede the broadcast. “Iyanla: Fix My Life” (OWN): Reality star Hazel-E gets advice from the motivational author who will celebrate her 18th book, “Get Over It! Thought Therapy for Healing the Hard Stuff” at the Dolby Theatre on April 17.
April 15 – “Autopsy: The Last Hours of … (Reelz): James Brown “Unsung” (TV1): Brand Nubian “The Walking Dead” (AMC): It’s “Survival Sunday” as the season finale follows Lennie James as the franchise’s first crossover character, Morgan Jones into the season premiere of “Fear The Walking Dead.” The double-header is getting the big screen treatment sans ads in select theatres. Visit: www.FathomEvents.com for details. “Drop The Mic” (TBS): Shaquille O’Neal vs. Ken Jeung
April 16 – “F*ck, That’s Delicious” (Viceland): The network kicks off its annual “Weed Week” with a sneak peek of Action Bronson’s food travel series followed by “Portraits With Yung Jake,” described as “a hip-hop/technological update of the iconic Bob Ross‘ Zen painting show.”
April 19 – “Scandal” (ABC): Of tonight’s series finale, show creator Shonda Rhimes says, “We are going to handle the end the way we like to handle the important things in our ‘Scandal’ family: all together, white hats on, gladiators running full speed over a cliff.”
TASTY QUIP: “I feel so proud to be living in space, to be playing green and blue aliens, to inspire, primarily, the younger generations. I remember what it was like to be young and to feel completely excluded out of the mainstream conversation of life because I was just little and unimportant and ‘other.’” – ZOE SALDANA, who co-stars in “Avengers: Infinity War”, to Net-A-Porter
As featured in the Los Angeles Wave and Independent, Tasty Clips is one of the leading entertainment newspaper columns on the West Coast, serving nearly one million weekly readers. To reach Bill Vaughan, send email to email@example.com or via Twitter @tastyclips.