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‘Lovecraft Country’ Star Michael K. Williams Had to Channel ‘My Own Trauma’ to Play Montrose

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*Michael K. Williams has revealed that he channeled his own “trauma” to play Montrose Freeman in HBO’s hit sci-fi drama “Lovecraft Country.”

“He’s traumatized,” Williams tells PEOPLE of Montrose, who is struggling with sexuality issues. He’s also a victim of the 1921 Tulsa Massacre. “We meet this man, and he’s already a survivor of the Tulsa Massacre. He moved to the south side of Chicago, which is kind of a war-zone in itself. This is also happening through the Jim Crow era.”

Williams continues: “He has issues, unresolved issues about himself that he was never allowed to explore.”

When it comes to Montrose’s sexuality, Williams says, “Montrose doesn’t know if he’s gay or straight or bisexual.”

“He was never given the opportunity to explore any of that. He was told by society, his community and by his family what Black masculinity should look like, and he had to stuff anything away that didn’t resemble what he was told. That’s who Montrose is when we find him. He’s in a lot of pain,” Williams says.

READ MORE: Michael K. Williams Shares Powerful Message About What’s Really Happening Right Now


Williams also explains how the series challenges Black masculinity.

“We are so conditioned to mask our pain as Black men in America. We’re not allowed to cry, we’re not allowed to be vulnerable. We’re not allowed to be soft. I hope that Montrose will at least open up a conversation for Black men in America,” he says. “I don’t know if Montrose is straight or gay. He doesn’t know that. He was never given the chance to know. He was told so much about what a Black man is supposed to be that he just pulled away at all the soft parts of himself, but that is not human. We are who we are. It’s okay to b soft. It’s okay to be vulnerable. It’s okay for a Black man to say to another Black man ‘I love you.’ ”

The veteran actor says he had to “find my own pain and my own trauma” to play Montrose, “which was a very painful experience for me,” he admits. “All the generational pain that had been passed down through my own personal experiences, I had to dig deep down in that for Montrose.”

Williams also hopes viewers appreciate the father/son dynamic that’s explored in the series between Montrose and his son Atticus (Jonathan Majors). 

“I would hope that after watching Lovecraft, people walk away with this understanding of the beauty and necessity of a father-son relationship in the Black community. Black fathers have been ripped away from their sons for so many years, mine included. That was the main thing that attracted me to this to this role was the opportunity to play dad to that amazing Jonathan Majors and for us to explore what father and son bonding looks like and how we can rebuild that and treasure it. There’s an absence of the Black male in our community for a lot of reasons and some of it isn’t our fault but the need is there. It’s a beautiful thing to look at. I hope Montrose will remind us how much little Black boys need their fathers,” Williams shares.

You can watch the full season of “Lovecraft Country’ on HBO. 

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Black Celebrity Gossip - Gossip

Michael Rainey, Jr. (‘Power Book II: Ghost’) Visits ‘The Real’ – Says 2020 is His Best Year Yet! / WATCH

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*On Wednesday, Dec. 2, on “The Real,” Michael Rainey, Jr. drops in to chat about Power Book II: Ghost and why 2020 may actually have been his best year yet!

Also, Ricardo Chavira visits to talk about his role as Abraham Quintanilla, Selena’s father, in Selena: The Series, on Netflix. He also explains his initial hesitation in taking the part.

And co-host Garcelle Beauvais reveals what her 2020 Word Of The Year is – and it is NOT what her co-hosts expected!

Michael Rainey, Jr. Explains Why 2020 Might Have Been His Best Year Yet!

Why Ricardo Chavira Was Initially Hesitant To Play Selena’s Father

Garcelle Reveals Her 2020 Word Of The Year – It’s Not What The Hosts Expected!

 

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Mickey Guyton: First Black Female Solo Artist to Earn Grammy Nod in Country Music Category

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*Mickey Guyton has become the first Black female solo artist to earn a Grammy nomination in a country music category. 

The 37-year-old singer’s “Black Like Me” song has been nominated for Best Country Solo Performance. The Pointer Sisters previously made history with the song, “Live Your Life Before You Die,” when it was nominated in 1976 for Best Country Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group. 

After the nominations were announced last week, Guyton shared an emotional video about her historic nomination. 

“Honestly still can’t believe this happened yesterday,” she captioned the clip (see below).

READ MORE: The Weeknd Calls Out ‘Corrupt’ Grammys After 2021 Nominations Snub

 

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“I haven’t been able to put into words the emotions I feel right now. I have been hitting the pavement for so long just trying to get an opportunity to be heard. And now here I am nominated for a Grammy!” Guyton continued. “I feel seen. I feel heard. I am a living testament that you should never give up on yourself. You never know what God has waiting for you around the corner.”

“This Grammy nomination is for every black girl that felt unseen. That felt unheard. That felt unloved. That felt like they weren’t enough. That felt unpretty. That felt shoved in a corner and completely unconsidered. This is for them,” she added. 

In September, Guyton became the first Black woman to perform at the Academy of Country Music Awards.

“That phrase, ‘You see it, you can be it’ really rings true, and I just — standing here for other women of color, it means the world to me,” she said. “That’s why I’m here,” she told ET at the ACM Awards.

Fun fact: Guyton is one of the original members of 3LW. Her former bandmate Adrienne Houghton had nothing but praise for her during a recent conversation on “The Real,” about the 2021 Grammy nominees. 

“When I got my first record deal, when Tommy Mottola signed me to Epic, the original members of my group actually had a girl named Mickey Guyton in it – she was the original member of 3LW, and she is now this incredible country artist that just got nominated as well. Saw this woman in tears – Mickey Guyton, amazing – she’s actually the original member of 3LW! Fun fact, everybody! She’s the one that got the record deal with us,” Houghton shared.

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Tyrese Says He and Dwayne Johnson Haved Squashed 3-year Feud [VIDEO]

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*Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Tyrese have reportedly ended their 3-year feud.

The two actors’ public beef first began in 2017 when Tyrese publicly criticized The Rock for signing on to do a spinoff of the “Fast & Furious” franchise.

At the time, Tyrese called Dwayne “selfish” for agreeing to do the “Hobbs & Shaw,” spinoff. The two starred in four “Fast & Furious” films together and Tyrese also said Johnson wouldn’t respond to his text messages despite the two having been friends.  

READ MORE: Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson Sees No Reason to Squash ‘One-sided’ Beef with Tyrese [Video]

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Dwayne previously said it was “pretty disappointing” that Tyrese made their disagreement so public. 

“I always feel like a beef requires two people to actually jump in it, and it was really one-sided, and he had voiced his opinion a lot on social media,” Dwayne said. “Apparently, he was going through some stuff too in his personal life. We haven’t talked and I don’t see where we would, and to me, there’s no need to have a conversation.”

Now, it seems things have apparently cooled between the two men. 

“We talked,” Tyrese told Comedy Central’s Stir Crazy with Josh Horowitz this week. “We talked for at least four hours. It was great.”

“What’s interesting about ‘The Fast and The Furious’ is it’s not about any of us individually,” he continued, speaking specifically about the franchise’s spinoffs. “We’re like the UN at this point. Everyone gets to go to the theater and say, ‘He and she looks like me.’ If I did it with [Ludacris’ Tej], then who are we going to play off of? I could not just make it about me. I just could not.”

What do you think of Tyrese’s take on the “Fast and Furious” franchise? Let us know in the comments. 

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