Brian Tyree Henry Talks 'Atlanta,' Fame, Pain, His Favorite Marvel Character And More In GQ Cover Story
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Brian Tyree Henry Talks 'Atlanta,' Fame, Pain, His Favorite Marvel Character And More In GQ Cover Story

A week ahead of the release of his highly anticipated film Widows, Brian Tyree Henry is taking his place as one of America’s favorite actors.

In an interview with GQ, the Yale School of Drama alum discussed his Atlanta cast, his views on fame, as well as his favorite Marvel character.

The Emmy-nominated actor, who earned a Supporting Actor nod for his role Alfred “Paper Boi” Miles, had nothing but praise for his cast members. “I love them, man. It’s very rare. I wonder if the Friends cast felt this s**t. I wonder if the Seinfeld cast felt this s**t,” he said. “I wonder if the Living Single cast felt this s**t. These three human beings exceed any expectation that I could ever expect of what love is.”

However, Henry also disclosed the downside of fame. “Fame is kind of scary,” he said. “It doesn’t allow you a chance to be damaged, or slip up.”

Henry lost his mother in a traffic accident just days after the first season of the show wrapped. The critically acclaimed “Woods” episode of the show, for which Henry earned an Emmy nomination, became more personal after this loss.  He said, “What kills me is everyone’s like, ‘How do you feel about this Emmy nomination?’ My mother’s dead. Every time I close my eyes, I see my hand on her casket. Every time I close my eyes, I hear my necklace bang on her casket. That’s the last time I saw her. That’s the only thing that gets me out of bed, and it’s sometimes the thing that keeps me in it. So being busy helps, but y’all don’t understand. If she’s not here to see it, I don’t really get a chance to rejoice in it. You know what I mean? I’ve buried a person every year for three years. I lost my best friend to cancer; then I lost my other best friend the next year to lupus. And I lost my mom to a f**king car accident. She wasn’t even sick. She died in the most awful f**king way. So it’s like… I haven’t had a chance to even think about that. But I still have to survive. I like to believe that all these blessings are them. But it would be really nice to look to my left and see my mother sitting there when they call my name. You know? And I’m being real f**king real with you. It’s hard to do this stuff. It’s just like she died yesterday, man. I haven’t even looked at a photograph of my mom since she died. I can’t look at her. And yet people are still celebrating and lauding this thing that I did about my mom. When, at the end of the day, I can’t really rejoice in what I did, because I’m still in pain.”

The Atlanta actor also disclosed who his favorite Marvel character is. “Okay, so my favorite is the Hulk. Let me explain. First of all, Bruce Banner is an amazing scientist. He’s brilliant, he’s smart, he’s revolutionary,” he said. “People think that in order to make the Hulk come out, you have to make him angry. What you don’t realize is that Bruce Banner is always angry. That’s the thing. He’s always f**king angry.”

With roles in White Boy Rick, Widows and If Beale Street Could Talk, Henry’s star wattage is growing brighter, and playing a character in a Marvel film doesn’t seem at all out of the question


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