What’s in your bag, Lakeith Stanfield?


What’s in your bag? is a recurring function the place we ask individuals to inform us a bit extra about their on a regular basis devices by opening their luggage and hearts to us. This week, we’re that includes the actor and rapper Lakeith Stanfield.

By now, you’ve most likely heard the title Lakeith Stanfield, the magnetic 26-year-old actor whose greatest credit are final January’s Oscar-winning function Get Out — in a job that taught America the which means of the sunken place — and Atlanta, Donald Glover’s critically acclaimed collection on FX. This summer season, Stanfield performs lead in Boots Riley’s good Sorry To Trouble You, reverse the equally enthralling Tessa Thompson. The film is a blast: One half anti-capitalist screed, one half race treatise, one half love story, and one half sci-fi physique horror. (Sure, you learn that proper. The twist in the film’s third act is unmissable.) The racial politics of Riley’s script are fascinating; the entire movie revolves round a telemarketing agency, the place Stanfield’s Cassius Inexperienced is schooled by an elder (performed by Danny Glover) to make use of his “white voice” in order to log extra gross sales. It really works. Naturally, Inexperienced’s white voice comes out as an overdubbed David Cross.

And Stanfield ably carries the forged — Cassius Inexperienced’s transformation from nebbish nerd to All the time-Be-Closin’ salesman is as pleasant to observe as it’s humorous to see. It may be as a result of he does, in reality, see a few of himself in the half; he, too, is on a journey of self-realization, he tells The Verge.

Today, Stanfield travels continuously between Los Angeles, the place he lives, and New York, the place he makes time for journalists like myself. I finished by the well-appointed basement of the Decrease East Aspect’s Crosby Lodge to ask Stanfield a query I’d wished to know for the reason that final time I interviewed him: What, precisely, does a film star carry round with him in 2018 A.D.? The reply lies in a zippered Adidas fanny pack.

Photograph by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Stanfield: So we’ve received my necessary Coca-Cola bottle. You all the time received to have it. By no means know. You’ve additionally received some Raybans right here. Gotta hold the solar and the haters blocked. We additionally received two keys right here for the resort room, in case I lose one, which I all the time do. We now have a cup right here for the Coca-Cola, simply in case. Trident, hold it good and recent; some Chapstick, hold them lips crackin’; a cellphone, as a result of duh, I’m an android, AND — however I take advantage of, uh, iPhone. [laughs] A passport, since you by no means know whenever you gotta present these motherBOOPs who you’re. [Editor’s Notice: he censored himself, that “BOOP” was literal.] A charger for the cellphone. Some headphones for the cellphone, which goes to make use of a charger. A bottle of Voss, [to] hold them thirst-buckets off you; and a pleasant little pretend Balenciaga.

The Verge: What do you want probably the most?



Nothing issues when your lips are chapped.

Do you may have any chapstick tales?

Oh yeah. One time I dated a chapstick. I put a bit of mini wig on it… and we needed to have our personal relationship as a result of, to be sincere, I felt lonely, and I don’t actually wish to discuss it.

Photograph by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Stanfield: I’ve upgraded to a shitty iPhone 8. And… the factor about iPhones [that’s] cool is which you can hold upgrading, nevertheless it’s nonetheless gonna be an iPhone. So I fairly find it irresistible. Really, I had the [iPhone X] for Animojis. However then I simply… I received very confused about swiping. So I simply went again to the touch[ing] issues with fingers.

However the pretend Balenciagas. The place are they from? Inform me about them.

It’s a must to have a pair of sneakers on you that resembles one thing that they’re not, in order that method you give off one thing that you simply aren’t.

So that you’re not a Balenciaga man.

I’m simply not cool.

Photograph by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

You’ve been in lots of TV and movie these days. What do you carry to set?

Every thing you see right here in the fanny pack. And a few sweats, so I can simply swap in and out of wardrobe. Generally which consists of very good Cosby sweaters.

Is it totally different for say, Atlanta…?

Stanfield: [stylist brings him a shot of whiskey in a glass] Thanks, child.

Stylist: You’re welcome.

Stanfield: [pouring Coke in the whiskey] Proceed.

So is it totally different on TV units and movie units, or are they the identical type of format?

Identical format, besides after I’m on Atlanta. I carry a fan as a result of it’s normally highly regarded on the market. And typically I wish to have a fan — which means a fanatic. A fan of mine with a fan, in order that method they will cool me off.

Cool. Do you carry extra stuff now than you probably did earlier than?

No, I simply assume I carry it totally different. Now it’s in my good little pouch. It was on my again and a stick.

A bindle?

No matter.

Photograph by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Do you’re feeling like, whenever you’re carrying stuff round in your pouch, that that’s type of like your dwelling on your again? Like, is that this all you want?

Effectively my foot is chilly, and it’s getting colder by the second. So no matter we’re doing right here with this photograph, I hope we are able to velocity it up a bit, you recognize what I imply? No, um — what was the query?

I imply, that is this your dwelling wherever you go?

Sure. Sure, sure, sure, sure. I’m a vagrant, and I wish to frequent fuel stations, and so I wish to be certain that, after I get there, that I’ve all my necessities. And all you see right here represents that.

Do you may have any merchandise you retain at dwelling that you simply like particularly?

Sure. I’ve… a Harriet Tubman twenty-dollar invoice, which is framed and is sitting on my mantle.

How’d you get that, and in addition, why do you may have it?

Effectively… I don’t know the way Donald [Glover] received them, however he gave me one. And yeah, it simply stays up there, good and protected, away from Trump’s wrath.

What does it imply?

It implies that there’s a wonderful black lady on a greenback invoice, buddy! I received that factor. So if don’t no person else received it, I received it.

Do you may have a skincare routine?

Nope. I simply get up and go.

Not even a cleanser?

Nope. We out right here protecting it uncooked, man.

Photograph by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Do you may have every other electronics that you simply actually like?

Sure. I’ve a DJI drone, it shoots in 4K. And I even have three of these.

What do you shoot with it?

Nothing. I similar to them.

You similar to having them round?

I attempt to fly ‘em round, however there’s lots of buildings and stuff, so I simply go away it alone. But it surely’s cool.

So what are you into these days?

Deep. In too deep.

Photograph by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Inform me about making Sorry To Trouble You. How’d you get hooked up to the venture in the primary place?

So I met Bootsie at Sundance, and I used to be dancing across the snow, and he got here as much as me. And he had an afro and a peculiar scent, so I walked away from him. And he stored following me with these items of paper, so I imagined there should be one thing on ‘em price discussing. I assumed he was gonna hand me a pamphlet speaking about becoming a member of a job union. However no! He gave me the script. The script was known as Sorry To Trouble You, however I wouldn’t have identified that, as a result of it didn’t have a title web page and the format was all tousled, as a result of he by no means wrote a script earlier than. However I didn’t know that, both. I simply thought that he may be some insane particular person. And as soon as I received into studying it, I noticed that sure he’s, however the good type of insane. The type of insane that writes tales that I wish to do. That writes tales I’ve been ready to do my entire life.

What was it like working with all the opposite actors in the movie?

Yeah, lots of ego. Annoying! No, it was actually cool. Everybody was so cool, and good and nice, and I’m so completely satisfied to have this group of individuals to work with. They actually trusted me to place this movie on my shoulders, and I actually admire all of ‘em.

Can I ask you concerning the overdubbing?

We simply stated the strains. Effectively, we didn’t truly say them, we similar to flapped our lips to no matter phrases we was imagined to be saying. And so they got here again and stuffed it in.

Was it bizarre looking ahead to the primary time, seeing these components?

Nah, it was cool. It was cool. I feel I’ve realized that after I communicate, I don’t transfer my mouth very a lot. It’s similar to phrases come out however my lips aren’t shifting. I may very well be a superb, like, ventriloquist.

You ever tried that?

Nah, however I ought to.

Photograph by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

How has the press tour been?

Effectively, that is my favourite interview as a result of we’re doing stuff.


[jumping down on the floor by his stuff] I simply wanna be certain that individuals comprehend it’s mine.

So the place have you ever gone with that passport in the final… I don’t know, month?

Let’s see… the Czech [Republic], Japan, to Dubai… to Poland, to Berlin, to Leipzig, to India.

Simply ‘trigger?

Yeah. [pauses] No, I haven’t been in any of these locations.


Nah I simply been chillin’. Forwards and backwards, right here to New York, or right here to LA.

What’s your favourite half about touring?

Seeing new individuals and new issues… and… [photographer reaches for his glass] Don’t contact my glass. [he takes a sip, indicates he’s joking, laughs] Experiencing new issues. Seeing the world from a special perspective, and realizing simply how the whole lot is linked. Like individuals get mad about cash irrespective of the place you’re on the planet.

Go on. What do you imply?

Once they don’t have it, they get mad. I keep in mind I used to be in a cab in Berlin and I didn’t notice that the cabs there don’t take playing cards; they solely take cash. So I pulled my card out to swipe and pay the man, and he began cussing me out in German. It was [German accent, unintelligible gibberish]. And I didn’t know what he was saying, so I couldn’t be offended. I used to be like, huh?, type of taking a look at him like a canine with their head tilted to the aspect. I feel this made him extra mad. So he reached in the again seat and slapped me. [pause] And that’s the tip of that story.

You didn’t slap him again?

No, I simply received out the automobile. Nah, I’m simply kidding, the slap half didn’t occur. However he did cuss me out. In German. That is after I paid him.

Oh, after you paid him, he stubborn you out?

And I had purchased a TV, as a result of… I don’t know why I purchased a TV. However I had this TV in the again seat, so I needed to seize the TV and stroll it again dwelling.


It was tight.

Photograph by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

So I really feel just like the film is all about… it feels very socialist, very leftist. It’s concerning the risks and evils of capitalism.

Rattling liberals.

Is it bizarre that, you recognize, it’s a Hollywood manufacturing, and it’s about how cash is dangerous?

No… as a result of I don’t assume it’s about how cash is dangerous. I feel it’s type of about how cash itself isn’t essentially the difficulty, however the best way that we are able to turn into overly obsessive about it, or the best way that we are able to permit it to make us do loopy issues. Cash itself is kind of good. It’s simply power, foreign money, power transference. However when it will get in the improper arms, and an excessive amount of of it’s given to loopy individuals, loopy issues begin to occur. I feel the reflection of the place we at the moment are, and a mirrored image of the evil issues that happen in the film with the folks that have cash, is extra a mirrored image of how humanity could be typically, reasonably than the cash itself. Commerce is nice, I feel.

So, the message was not cash and energy corrupt?

I don’t assume that was the message. I feel that that’s one thing that may very well be derived from what you see in the tales — that’s a actuality — that it could possibly corrupt, cash and energy. However I don’t assume that it’s the total message of the story. I feel the message of this film, like most of my motion pictures, is [unintelligible hooting].

That’s precisely what you stated final time I requested you a few movie. Syllable for syllable. Anyway, do you see your self as Cassius in any respect?

Yeah. I see myself as having gone and am going by way of a journey of self-realization, and looking out, and trying to all the time put myself in a greater place than I used to be [in] yesterday. Simply attempt to be a greater particular person each day. As you may inform by the issues in my pack right here, I’m on a mission to avoid wasting the world.

What’s the best factor in the pack that would enable you save the world?


Chapstick. I purchase it.

Good, You need to, as a result of it’s low-cost.

Cease Movement by Michele Doying / The Verge

I’ve mine in my pocket. Wasn’t it DJ Khaled that stated “why be tough?” That was his philosophy?

You realize what…?

Why be tough whenever you could be easy?

That man’s received the solutions, man. Sway, get out the best way. And his child is so cute. It’s the cutest factor I ever noticed. I feel I only a noticed video of him being in a pool. It was so cute, and it’s so, so good. I imply no matter he’s doing to make his child that good, like, please, I have to know.

Some other merchandise that you simply like that you simply’d like to say?

I actually like that Professional Styl gel. While you curl your hair up with the sponge factor and you set the Professional Styl in, it sticks. All day. And uh… [reaches into plastic bag that’s been sitting on the table this entire time, reads label on item] Dove deodorant. Oh, we must always have put this in there. And… every day pore cleanser.

So that you do have a cleanser.

Oh. [pause] Tight.

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