Stars Of Sundance: Lakeith Stanfield

Stars Of Sundance: Lakeith Stanfield

Appearing in the Oscar-winning film 'Get Out' and FX's acclaimed hit 'Atlanta', Stanfield continues to compel audiences in and critics' alike in the Sundance standout 'Sorry to Bother You.'



Appearing in the Oscar-winning film 'Get Out' and FX's acclaimed hit 'Atlanta', Stanfield continues to compel audiences in and critics' alike in the Sundance standout 'Sorry to Bother You.'

Photography: Sharif Hamza

Styling: Andrew Mukamal

Text: Paul Schrodt

This interview appears in the pages of V113, The Music Issue, on newsstands now. Order your copy of the issue today at shop.vmagazinedigital.com.

“I’m looking at a really cool bowl right now,” Lakeith Stanfield says without a hint of irony. It’s not just any bowl, but one adorned with skulls. The 26-year-old actor is ostensibly busy in L.A. with the season-two premiere of FX’s Atlanta. But much like his beloved, hilarious stoner- philosopher character Darius, Stanfield is preoccupied with his own world. And Hollywood, thankfully, is waking up to it. After signing up for a modeling school he found online and faking his way down a runway so he could get time with agents, the Southern California native scored an acting audition, which “started my long failure process for five years,” he explains. Stanfield eventually nabbed a role in Short Term 12, an acclaimed 2013 movie starring Brie Larson as a supervisor at a facility for troubled teens, including Stanfield as Marcus, who, on the edge of adulthood, is unsettled at the prospect of moving forward. Stanfield received an Independent Spirit Award nomination for his performance, a sign of how fully he committed to the character.

After a minor but chilling part in Get Out, his role in Atlanta, and an appearance in Jay-Z’s “Moonlight” video (he does a killer Hova impression, by the way), Stanfield became a known entity. But even ardent fans may be surprised by his turn in Sorry to Bother You, which premiered to raves and some puzzlement at Sundance. The surrealist sci-fi/comedy head-trip follows a telemarketer, played by Stanfield, who finds the secret to success in the ultimate white-man voice, then stumbles on strange happenings up the corporate ladder. It’s material few could pull off. When asked if he sought peers’ wisdom for his first lead role, Stanfield answers flatly, “No, the only person I ever ask for advice is my inner demons.”

LAKEITH WEARS VEST AND PANTS HOMME PLISSÉ ISSEY MIYAKE

Credits: MAKEUP CIARA O’SHEA (LGA), HAIR RUBI JONES (JULIAN WATSON), PRODUCER ASHLEY HERSON, LOCAL PRODUCER KATE HOLLAND, DIGITAL TECHNICIAN CASEY RICHARDSON, PHOTO ASSISTANTS TIM HOFFMAN, SHEN WILLIAMS-COHEN, STYLIST ASSISTANT JERMAINE DALEY, HAIR ASSISTANT MEGAN GORLEY, PRODUCTION ASSISTANTS TOM O’MEARA, RIQUE CARROLL, RETOUCHING HEMPSTEAD MAY, LOCATION PARK CITY PEAKS HOTEL

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