In the new film “Knives Out” LaKeith Stanfield plays Lieutenant Elliott, a local lawman helping Benoit Blanc find Harlan Thrombey’s killer. Stanfield is the only African American in the film. You may not know his face when you read his name—LaKeith Stanfield—but he is a bona fide star and has appeared in some of the most critically acclaimed films of the last two years, including Jordan Peele’s “Get Out” and Boots Riley’s “Sorry to Bother You” and he is currently shooting a new film by director Shaka King, “Jesus Was My Homeboy” produced with actor Daniel Kaluuya and produced by Ryan Coogler and Charles King.
Here is what the award-winning actor LaKeith Stanfield share about making “Knives Out” and why he believes in the power of love.
AMSTERDAM NEWS: What’s surprised you about making the film “Knives Out”?
LaKEITH STANFIELD: What interested me in “Knives Out” is that the script was so well executed. It presents all these wild characters and different possibilities for the crime, and then it keeps throwing you for a loop. I thought it was a great canvas to work with, and on top of that, the dialogue was so dark and funny. With each character, there is a reason to be invested in them and equally, a reason to distrust them. A big part of the fun in a story like this is questioning your own judgment and moral barometer as things get complicated.
AMN: Describe your character, Lieutenant Elliott.
LS: Lieutenant Elliott is a consummate “by-the-book professional.”
AMN: What was it like working with Craig Daniel?
LS: I expected Daniel to be super cool, which he is, but he can also be so goofy and hilarious,
It’s always exciting when you get to see actors make choices that you’re not expecting, and I think people will be quite surprised by Daniel in a great way.
AMN: What’s next for you?
LS: I’m writing my music right now. I’m coming out with my EP later this year followed by an LP after that. I have a couple of songs for women on there as well. I explore love but it’s more about my experiences [in love]. The good, the bad and the in-between. You know how love can be. It’s trial and error. In love, you fall and get back up. I’m looking back to my past. I’m just trying to do better. Be better. Grow. Love is a trip.
“Knives Out” in theaters now. LaKeith Stanfield’s next film is “The Photography.” It opens on Valentines’ Day, Feb. 14, 2020.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.