Jeymes Samuel And Lakeith Stanfield On Their Shared Understanding Of God In ‘The Book Of Clarence’

Jeymes Samuel And Lakeith Stanfield On Their Shared Understanding Of God In ‘The Book Of Clarence’ | Photo: Sony
Jeymes Samuel And Lakeith Stanfield On Their Shared Understanding Of God In ‘The Book Of Clarence’ | Photo: Sony
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Jeymes Samuel and Lakeith Stanfield are about telling the truth in The Book of Clarence.

Shadow and Act Managing Editor Trey Mangum sat down with the cast and director of the new film and talked about the importance of faith and what it was like to tell a story that veers in between the comical, the brutal, and the philosophical.

Samuel said that his vision for the film was to tell the truth of his experiences in his life, one of them being that a lot of times, things can be going great and then suddenly something scary or dangerous comes out of nowhere.

“I think that what happens is as creators, we end up denying our truths and we try to fit into form. Take for instance, drive-by shootings,” he said. “Every drive-by shooting in the history of drive-by shootings would be unsuccessful if the people knew that a drive-by shooting was about to occur…literally, 15 seconds before a drive-by shooting, people are standing there, cracking jokes, living their lives. It’s comedy or whatever it is that they’re speaking about. The next minute, [gun noises].”

He also told a story about how he and his friends were once having fun riding their BMX bikes on a track having fun, and then the next minute he and his friends felt nails on the back of their necks because of Travellers who had come into town before.

“It was just about keeping truth to the environment that I grew up in and the story that I wanted to tell because it’s a universal story, it’s a universal environment and we all experience those things,” he said.

Stanfield, who stars in the film as the titular character, talked about how his ideas about faith meshed with Samuel’s ideas.

“I think it accentuated what I had already known. I’ve always been a very spiritual person and understood my connection to God and the universe and it’s something super engrained and special,” he said. “It showed up in my life many times…me making it out was a miracle. I had people [who didn’t] make it out.”

“It was a very beautiful reminder of staying the course, believing [and] trusting in God,” he continued. “What that can bring about is a very beautiful thing. I felt bolstered by Jeymes’ ideas when married with mine because they were the same.”

Watch the full interviews, which also feature Anna Diop and David Oyelowo, below. The Book of Clarence is playing in theaters now.