Straight Outta Compton killed it at the box office this weekend, pulling in just over $60 million. If you’re one of the many who went to see it, or will go soon, you’ll notice one of the breakout roles in the film is that of Keith Stanfield, who plays the hilarious and legendary Snoop Dogg.
It was obviously an honor for Keith to play the music icon, and you can tell by how he nailed the role, how he sounded exactly like Snoop, looked like young Snoop, and moved like young Snoop.
“I was glad to be able to step into those shoes,” the 24-year-old actor told GlobalGrind via BlogXilla “…Which were platform shoes, by the way, so it made me tall enough to play him. But to step in those shoes and be in that light and be a part of such a pretty historic hip-hop movement – I love hip-hop, so I was just grateful to be a part of it.”
You’ve seen the Cali actor in a bunch of films before, and probably didn’t even know it. But if not, you need to hit your Netflix, add Selma and The Purge: Anarchy, and make it a priority. This kid is the truth.
It was a steaming hot day in Los Angeles on the red carpet of the 2015 BET Awards. I was busy wrangling talent and capturing video for our social media channels when I saw one of my favorite actors. I ran down the carpet, trying get his attention, as another website was interviewing one of his friends and barely paid Keith any mind.
I called over to him to ask a few questions, and he had “Black Love” written all over his face.
“That’s what I’m about,” Keith told me. “We gotta have Black love, we gotta love each other – because it’s obvious ain’t nobody else out here is going to do it for us.”
While Keith isn’t yet well known, I happened to discover him thanks to a freestyle in the movie Short Term 12.
I heard the song before I saw the film, but afterwards, I immediately became a fan. In Short Term 12, Stanfield played Marcus, a troubled kid aging out of a residential treatment facility. I later saw him again in The Purge: Anarchy, in which he snagged a small, but effective role.
And after watching his portrayal of Jimmy Lee Jackson, the activist who did whatever it took to make sure his father got the chance to vote, in Selma, I knew he was on his way to greatness.
I asked Keith if he cries like so many other people who saw the Oscar Award-winning film.
“I did, the first three times I seen it. As soon as it gets to Henry, who plays the grandfather, I’m done.” Keith explained that he relates to the role, “It was such an emotional scene. I know that being in the position where the police…you feel like you got power that’s bugging you, that you can’t say or do nothing with how that feel. That hopeless feeling. I know that. People dying everyday in the streets and that bullshit. I get passionate just talking about it now.”
Even more recently, Keith also played Bug, the gang banger in Dope who kept trying to get Malcolm for his kicks. Now, he’s stealing the show with his brief role in Straight Outta Compton and is attached to Snowden, a political retelling of the life of Edward Snowden, the most wanted man in the world.
While he can pretty much pull off anything, Keith enjoys roles where he can mix his love for music and film.
“I love when the two is married. My favorite opportunities are those that allow me to do both,” he said. “It’s like your mom and your wife. It’s two different loves, but I love them very much the same, so I like when I can do both.”
Keep your eye on this guy, because it’s just a matter of time before he’s a huge star. In the meantime, peep his portrayal of Snoop Dogg in the N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton, in theaters now.
PHOTO CREDIT: Splash