‘The Book Of Clarence’ Star LaKeith Stanfield & How ‘The Lion King’ Helped Him Find His Roar: The Film That Lit My Fuse

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LaKeith Stanfield stars in his second straight film with The Harder They Fall writer/director Jeymes Samuel. He moves from an old West gunslinger to a false prophet who finds faith in the days of Jesus Christ in The Book of Clarence, the Legendary Entertainment film just released by Columbia Pictures. The film is a meditation on religion and faith, as Stanfield plays both the title character, who fakes miracles to raise money to pay off a debt, and also Thomas, one of Christ’s Apostles in 33 A.D. Rome.

Stanfield got his first major break in Short Term 12, the student thesis film by Shang-Chi director Destin Daniel Cretton that also marked the debut of Brie Larson. The film won the Jury Award at Sundance and a feature length version won the Grand Jury Prize at SXSW, with Stanfield nominated for an Independent Spirt Award. He’s been working steadily since, with films that include The Purge: Anarchy, playing civil right activist Jimmie Lee Jackson in Selma, Snoop Dogg in Straight Outta Compton, a supporting role in Jordan Peele’s breakout Get Out, the lead in the dark comedy Sorry to Bother You and co-starring in Knives Out. He was Oscar nominated for Judas and the Black Messiah, playing the FBI informant William O’Neal, who betrayed the Black Panther party leader Fred Hampton. He also co-starred in Donald Glover’s acclaimed series Atlanta.

In this exceptional segment, Stanfield discusses the road that took him to Samuel and The Book of Clarence, and the lessons that have made him one of the brightest young stars in Hollywood.

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