6. Your chemistry with Daniel was definitely undeniable! Was there anything you two did off screen to help build that connection on screen?
No, I think it was all super natural because we all knew that we were portraying a story that was bigger than all of us. It’s a part of history and all of us, so we really left our spirits open. We just wanted to be a vessel. And so, when we want to be a vessel, if this person is being Chairman Fred, then how does he take up space? Oh, you have dimples like Chairman Fred? I’m journaling about it as my character. The book that she has in the movie, I drew all the pictures for, and all of the poetry about his dimples, I wrote. I really tried to build up the emotional world inside, because even though we don’t get to see or hear a lot about what I wrote in the book, we know that when she looks at him, there’s something behind her eyes.
I remember I was doing reshoots for Project Power, so I wasn’t on the [Judas and the Black Messiah] set when they first began. So Daniel would have rehearsals with Shaka and we would talk on the phone, and then he would kind of advocate for me, and be my voice when I wasn’t there. And that kind of trust. That kind of trust and faith is a beautiful thing.
7. What’s one thing you learned about Daniel and LaKeith that might surprise people?
Daniel is super funny! I don’t know if fans get to see that a lot. But also — I kind of say this is his superpower — he’s able to see people for who they are and where they’re at and meet them where they’re at, which is such a huge gift. He doesn’t let his ego get in the way of things, and he’s receptive to everybody’s feelings, which is beautiful.
LaKeith is very sweet. You know, he’s very sweet. He’ll let you know exactly how he feels. Like he told me, “I just think you’ve done a beautiful job. I’m happy that you’re doing this film.” Even if it’s not a scene that I’m in with him, like it could be a random one, and he’d still come up to me and say, “I just had to let you know I think you’re doing a great job and I’m happy that you’re here.” He’s very sweet.