BOSSIP’s Sr. Content Director Janeé Bolden spoke with Lakeith Stanfield about his struggle with the idea of playing William O’Neal, an FBI informant who helped the FBI infiltrate the Chicago chapter of the Black Panther Party and was key to the agency’s assassination of Chairman Fred Hampton. Lakeith revealed he is #TeamFred Hampton and he eventually agreed to play Bill O’Neal, who he initially viewed as just a snitch, because he felt it was more important that the story of Fred Hampton be told. Stanfield admitted he had to confront his ego in order to portray O’Neal, all in order to make the world know the great force of Chairman Fred Hampton. He also described how the film plays a role in exposing the government, saying “Everyone is looking at Judas, you need to be looking at the government.”
Watch the interview below:
Lakeith makes some excellent points and it’s clear he’s still not completely comfortable having taken on this role. We learned so much watching this film but what becomes abundantly clear is that the world needs to be talking more about Fred Hampton and the impact he had DESPITE being assassinated at the age of 21.
‘Judas and the Black Messiah’ is in theaters and on HBO Max tomorrow February 12, 2021.
Will you be watching this weekend?