Lakeith Stanfield reveals that he went to therapy after taking on the role of William O'Neal for "Judas & The Black Messiah."
One of the most talked-about films this year is Judas & The Black Messiah, the motion picture surrounding the betrayal of Black Panthers Party Illinois chapter chairman, Fred Hampton. Daniel Kaluuya takes on the role of Hampton while Williams O'Neal, the FBI informant playing opposite of Kaluuya, is played by Lakeith Stanfield.
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Though he faced scrutiny his contributions to the film from Charlamagne Tha God who shaded Stanfield during an interview with Kaluuya, Lakeith revealed just how taxing the role of O'Neal was, describing it as "one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do." During a recent interview with Levels, he detailed how the role took a toll on him mentally such as when his character had to poison Kaluuya's.
"In the scene where I had to poison him, a lot of it didn’t end up making it to the final cut, but we shot [me mixing it in] Kool-Aid, and I had to go through all those emotions," he said. "With somebody like Daniel, who I just respect as a human and an artist, as Fred Hampton, it felt like I was actually poisoning Chairman Fred Hampton.”
He added, "So sometimes your body thinks that’s real, everything you’re putting it through. It’s no wonder I’ve been feeling so stressed out and having panic attacks. I realized going forward before I step into something like that again, maybe have a therapist."
He explained that he did begin seeing a therapist this year which has allowed him to not only unpack his emotions from the film but other experiences that have weighed on him. "It’s been helpful for me to unpack a lot of stuff. I’ve been through a lot of stuff, there’s a lot of things I just didn’t confront. Those things mount; you act out in different ways and they can become harmful to you," he said.