If a film played at a major festival like Sundance, SXSW or the Toronto International Film Festival, chances are, Kelvin Harrison Jr. was in it. The breakout actor has a resume filled with festival favorites such as Mudbound, Monsters and Men, All Rise, Jinn and Assassination Nation and The Wolf Hour. He appeared in Trey Edward Shults’ indie horror It Comes at Night and the Buddy Bolden pic Bolden. He’s even delved into TV with roles in Shots Fired and most recently, Godfather of Harlem. The talented actor has modestly and impressively racked up credits that have caught the deserving attention of Hollywood — and we want more.
2019 was a good year for Harrison. He appeared in two films that are a one-two punch of his incredible capabilities as an actor. Harrison earned an Independent Spirit Award for his role in Julius Onah’s Luce where he plays an adopted son to a white married couple who have an idealized image of him. All is put to the test when they are forced to confront identity politics that threaten his all-star status. In the critically acclaimed familial drama Waves, he reunites with Shults in an awards season-worthy film where he plays a son to a domineering father from a suburban family. If Harrison wasn’t on your radar before, he will be after watching this pair of tense dramas.
Harrison stopped by the New Hollywood Podcast to talk about the trajectory of his career, choosing roles that tell authentic narratives, the cultural impact of Waves and Luce, how the roles he chooses inform what kind of actor he wants to be and each of us waxes poetic about our own experiences with dying and straightening our hair.
Listen to the episode below.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.