Brian Tyree Henry

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Brian Tyree Henry
Henry in 2019
Born (1982-03-31) March 31, 1982 (age 41)
Education
OccupationActor
Years active2007–present

Brian Tyree Henry (born March 31, 1982)[1][2][3] is an American actor. He rose to prominence for his role as rapper Alfred "Paper Boi" Miles in the FX comedy-drama series Atlanta (2016–2022), for which he received a nomination for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series.

His other television roles were in Boardwalk Empire, This Is Us and How to Get Away with Murder. Henry made his film breakthrough in 2018 with roles in Steve McQueen's heist film Widows and Barry Jenkins' romantic drama If Beale Street Could Talk. He has since appeared in Child's Play (2019), Joker (2019), Godzilla vs. Kong (2021), The Woman in the Window (2021), and Bullet Train (2022). He portrayed Phastos in the Marvel Cinematic Universe film Eternals (2021), and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for playing a grieving man in the drama film Causeway (2022).

Henry has also appeared on stage, making his debut performance in the Shakespeare in the Park production of Romeo and Juliet (2007), and acting in various plays at the Public Theatre, before appearing in the original Broadway cast of The Book of Mormon (2011). In 2014 he appeared in the off-Broadway musical The Fortress of Solitude. For his performance in the 2018 Broadway revival of Kenneth Lonergan's play Lobby Hero, he received a nomination for the Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play.

Early life[edit]

Henry was born in Fayetteville, North Carolina and raised partly in Washington, D.C. His father was in the military, and his mother, Willow Dean Kearse, was an educator.[1][4] Henry graduated from E.E. Smith High School [1][5] and attended Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia as a business major-turned-actor in the early 2000s. He received his master's degree from the Yale School of Drama.[6]

Career[edit]

2007–2015: Early career[edit]

Henry began his career on stage, with roles in numerous plays and musicals. In 2007, he starred as Tybalt in Shakespeare in the Park's production of Romeo and Juliet. Henry also appeared in Tarell Alvin McCraney's trilogy of plays, titled The Brother/Sister Plays. In 2011, he received further success in his Broadway debut as a part of the original cast of the musical The Book of Mormon opposite Josh Gad and Andrew Rannells.[7]

Henry made guest appearances in television series such as NBC's Law & Order, and CBS's The Good Wife. In 2013 he had a brief but recurring role as Winston Scrapper in HBO's Boardwalk Empire appearing in the episodes "Havre de Grace" and "Farewell Daddy Blues". The following year he appeared in Steven Soderbergh's Cinemax series The Knick as Larkin in the episode "The Busy Flea". He made his feature film debut in the 2015 comedy film Puerto Ricans in Paris.

2016–present: Breakthrough[edit]

In 2016, Henry received critical acclaim and recognition for his starring role as Alfred "Paper Boi" Miles in the FX comedy-drama series Atlanta. For his performance in the series, he received a nomination for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for his performance in the episode "Woods". Chase Hutchinson of Collider declared Henry the "show's best character" writing, "Uniting [Atlanta] is the irreplaceable Henry's sense of presence and vulnerability he conveys as an actor, an element of the show that would not be the same without him. It makes him one of the best parts of the series and one of the best actors working today for all he manages to do in even the simplest of moments."[8]

From 2016 to 2017, he acted as Dascious Brown in the HBO comedy series Vice Principals. In 2017, Henry appeared as Ricky in the NBC drama series This Is Us, for which he received a nomination for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series. That same year he starred in Dustin Guy Defa's drama film Person to Person and Matt Ruskin's Crown Heights.

In 2018, he returned to Broadway in the revival of Kenneth Lonergan's Lobby Hero opposite Chris Evans, Bel Powley, and Michael Cera. David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter hailed Henry as "terrific" and cited him as "the production's standout performance".[9] For his performance he was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play.[10] Also in 2018, Henry made his film breakthrough appearing in seven films. He appeared in Steve McQueen's acclaimed heist film Widows portraying Jamal Manning, a crime boss and politician in the Chicago. Alissa Wilkinson of Vox declared "Brian Tyree Henry continues his run as the actor to watch, thanks to his appearance here as a charismatic and menacing political candidate."[11] He also appeared in Barry Jenkins' romantic drama film If Beale Street Could Talk based on the 1974 James Baldwin novel of the same name. For his performances in both films he received a nomination from the National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor. That same year he portrayed Jefferson Davis in the animated superhero film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse which received the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. That same year he also starred in the dystopian thriller film Hotel Artemis, and the crime drama White Boy Rick.

In 2019, he appeared in Todd Phillips's psychological drama Joker,[12] the science fiction horror film Don't Let Go and the horror film Child's Play, the latter being a remake of the 1988 film.[13] The following year he appeared in The Outside Story and Superintelligence. During this time he also appeared in the Netflix animated series BoJack Horseman, the HBO anthology series Room 104, and portrayed Berry Gordy an episode of the Comedy Central sketch series Drunk History. He also has recurring roles as Armando in the Fox animated series HouseBroken (2021–present), and as Elijah in the Netflix animated series Big Mouth (2022).

In 2021, he starred as Bernie Hayes in Godzilla vs. Kong alongside Millie Bobby Brown and as Phastos in the Marvel Studios film Eternals directed by Chloe Zhao. In 2022 he starred in David Leitch's action comedy Bullet Train opposite Brad Pitt. In his final role of the year, Henry starred in Lila Neugebauer's A24 drama Causeway opposite Jennifer Lawrence as mechanic James Aucoin. Henry received critical acclaim for his performance, garnering Academy Award, Critics' Choice, Gotham Award, and Independent Spirit Award nominations.[14][15] In a review for The Independent, Adam White wrote: "Henry lends each hushed gap in James's tale the feel of a sledgehammer."[16] Mary Siroky for Consequence praised Henry's performance and said that he "is so grounded here that there are moments we feel like we are intruding into his life."[17]

Henry is set to voice a younger Megatron in the animated film Transformers One, making him the first African-American actor to voice the character.[18]

Personal life[edit]

Henry's mother, Willow Deane Kearse, died in early 2016. The Atlanta episode "Woods" was dedicated to her.[19]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Key
Denotes films that have not yet been released
Year Title Role Notes
2015 Puerto Ricans in Paris Spencer
2017 Person to Person Mike
Crown Heights Clayton "Massup" Benton
2018 Irreplaceable You Benji
Family Pete
Hotel Artemis Honolulu/Lev
White Boy Rick Det. Mel "Roach" Jackson
Widows Jamal Manning
If Beale Street Could Talk Daniel Carty
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Jefferson Davis (voice)
2019 Don't Let Go Garret Radcliff
Child's Play Detective Mike Norris
Joker Carl
2020 The Outside Story Charles Young
Superintelligence Dennis Caruso
2021 Godzilla vs. Kong Bernie Hayes
The Woman in the Window Detective Little
Vivo Dancarino (voice)
Eternals Phastos
2022 Bullet Train Lemon
Causeway James Aucoin
2023 The Magician's Elephant Leo Matienne (voice)
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse Jefferson Davis (voice)
2024 Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire Bernie Hayes Post-production
Transformers One Megatron (voice)[18] In production
Flint Strong Jason Crutchfield Post-production

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2009 Law & Order Ben Episode: "Dignity"
Last of the Ninth Uniform Television film
2010 The Good Wife Randall Simmons Episode: "Double Jeopardy"
2013 Boardwalk Empire Winston 'Scrapper' Episodes: "Havre de Grace" and "Farewell Daddy Blues"
2014 The Knick Larkin Episode: "The Busy Flea"
2016–22 Atlanta Alfred "Paper Boi" Miles Main role
2016–17 Vice Principals Dascious Brown Episodes: "The Good Book", "Gin" and "Tiger Town"
2017 How to Get Away with Murder Public Defender Episode: "Go Cry Somewhere Else"
This Is Us Ricky Episode: "Memphis"
Drop the Mic Himself Episode: "David Arquette vs. Brian Tyree Henry and Jesse Tyler Ferguson vs. Chrissy Metz"
2018 BoJack Horseman Cooper Wallace Jr. / Strib Voice, episode: "The Amelia Earhart Story"
Room 104 Arnold Episode: "Arnold"
Drunk History Berry Gordy Episode: "Game Changers"
2021–present HouseBroken Armando Voice, recurring role
2022 Big Mouth Elijah / Chief Voice, recurring role (season 6)
2023 Class of '09[20] Tayo Miller Miniseries
TBA Sinking Spring Ray Upcoming miniseries

Theatre[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2007 Romeo and Juliet Tybalt Shakespeare in the Park
The Brothers Size Oshoosi The Public Theatre
2009 In The Red and Brown Water The Egungun
Marcus; Or the Secret of Sweet Oshoosi Size / Terrell
2011 The Book of Mormon General Eugene O'Neill Theatre
2014 The Fortress of Solitude Robert Woolfolk The Public Theatre
2018 Lobby Hero William Helen Hayes Theatre

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Association Category Work Result Ref.
2017 MTV Movie & TV Award Best Duo (shared with Lakeith Stanfield) Atlanta Nominated [21]
Gold Derby Award Breakthrough Performer of the Year Nominated
Best Comedy Supporting Actor Nominated
Best Drama Guest Actor This Is Us Nominated
Guild of Music Supervisors Award Best Song/Recording Created for Television Nominated
Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series Nominated
2018 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play Lobby Hero Nominated [22]
Drama League Award Distinguished Performance Nominated
Tony Award Best Featured Actor in a Play Nominated
Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Atlanta Nominated [21]
Gold Derby Award Best Comedy Supporting Actor Nominated
2019 Critics' Choice Television Award Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Nominated
NAACP Image Award Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture If Beale Street Could Talk Nominated
Gold Derby Award Best Ensemble Cast Widows Nominated
2023 Independent Spirit Award Best Supporting Performance Causeway Nominated [23]
Critics' Choice Movie Award Best Supporting Actor Nominated [24]
Academy Award Best Supporting Actor Nominated [25]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Brown, Emma (September 7, 2016). "Discovery: Brian Tyree Henry". Interview. Brant Publications. Archived from the original on September 8, 2016. Retrieved September 15, 2016.
  2. ^ Fitz-Gerald, Sean (September 6, 2016). "Who Plays Paper Boi The Rapper on 'Atlanta'?". Thrillist. Retrieved June 28, 2017.
  3. ^ Family Search
  4. ^ Blagrove, Kadia (April 20, 2018). "Atlanta and the Unfolding of Paper Boi's Depression".
  5. ^ "Brian Tyree Henry of Fayetteville nominated for Oscsar". fayobserver.com. January 25, 2023. Retrieved August 10, 2023.
  6. ^ Fernandez, Maria Elena (September 7, 2016). "How Brian Tyree Henry Became Paper Boi, Atlanta's Rising Rap Star". Vulture. Retrieved May 6, 2018.
  7. ^ "Brian Tyree Henry". Playbill. Retrieved September 15, 2016.
  8. ^ Hutchinson, Chase (May 9, 2022). "How 'Atlanta' & Brian Tyree Henry's Sense of Vulnerability Makes Paper Boi the Show's Best Character". Collider. Retrieved November 15, 2022.
  9. ^ Rooney, David (March 26, 2018). "'Lobby Hero': Theater Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 15, 2022.
  10. ^ "The Tony Award Nominees - Artists - Brian Tyree Henry". TonyAwards.com. Archived from the original on April 19, 2019. Retrieved May 6, 2018.
  11. ^ Wilkinson, Alissa (November 16, 2018). "In Widows, Viola Davis's heist crew captivates even when the story stumbles". Vox. Retrieved November 15, 2022.
  12. ^ Scharf, Zack (June 12, 2019). "Brian Tyree Henry Teases 'Joker' Mother-Son Drama and That 'Quiet Place 2' Will Solve Monster Mystery". IndieWire. Retrieved January 26, 2023.
  13. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (September 20, 2018). "Gabriel Bateman To Star As Andy In MGM's 'Child's Play' Remake, Joining Aubrey Plaza & Brian Tyree Henry". Deadline Hollywood.
  14. ^ Shanfield, Ethan (October 29, 2022). "'Tár' Leads Gotham Awards Nominations: Full List". Variety. Retrieved December 11, 2022.
  15. ^ Lattanzio, Ryan (November 22, 2022). "'Everything Everywhere,' 'TÁR' Lead Independent Spirit Award Nominations: See the Full List". IndieWire. Retrieved December 11, 2022.
  16. ^ White, Adam (November 4, 2022). "Causeway review: Jennifer Lawrence reminds us all how good she is". The Independent. Retrieved March 14, 2023.
  17. ^ Siroky, Mary (November 3, 2022). "Jennifer Lawrence and Brian Tyree Henry Captivate in Causeway: Review". Consequence. Retrieved March 14, 2023.
  18. ^ a b Rubin, Rebecca (April 27, 2023). "'Transformers' Animated Prequel Sets Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson and More Voice Cast". Variety. Retrieved April 27, 2023.
  19. ^ Nguyen, Hanh (April 20, 2018). "'Atlanta' Writer on Paper Boi's Heartbreaking Loss, 'Teddy Perkins,' and Life After 'Deadpool'". IndieWire. Retrieved April 22, 2018.
  20. ^ White, Peter (June 22, 2021). "Brian Tyree Henry & Kate Mara To Star In FBI AI Limited Series 'Class Of '09' Set At FX". Deadline Hollywood.
  21. ^ a b "Brian Tyree Henry - Awards - IMDb". IMDb. Retrieved August 9, 2019.
  22. ^ "Brian Tyree Henry - Playbill". Playbill. Retrieved August 9, 2019.
  23. ^ Davis, Clayton (November 22, 2022). "Independent Spirit Awards Nominations: 'Everything Everywhere' Leads With Eight Noms". Variety. Retrieved November 22, 2022.
  24. ^ Verhoeven, Beatrice (December 14, 2022). "'Everything Everywhere All At Once' Leads 2023 Critics Choice Awards Film Nominations". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 15, 2023.
  25. ^ Moreau, Jordan (January 24, 2023). "Oscar Nominations 2023: The Full List". Variety. Retrieved January 24, 2023.

External links[edit]