On the surface, Judas and the Black Messiah may not seem like a love story, but for its cast, that’s exactly what the film, which details the betrayal of Black Panther Party Chairman Fred Hampton by a Black FBI informant, is.
Last night, Daniel Kaluuya won the Golden Globe award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama for his portrayal of Hampton and when it comes to the lesson he learned from playing the slain revolutionary, the British star tells ESSENCE it’s self-love.
“It took everything. It took everything and more,” Kaluuya said in the virtual pressroom following his win, echoing sentiments he expressed in his acceptance speech of what it required to step into the role. “I had to find more.”
As for what he learned playing Hampton, the 32-year-old went on to say, ” The lesson is clarity — clarity of feeling, clarity of giving. And self-love, how much they loved their own. I’ll keep that with me forever.”
Last month we spoke with Skaka King, co-writer and director of Judas, who told us he had a similar message in mind when putting together the movie.
“One of the things we wanted to kinda showcase with this film was that the Black Panthers were motivated by a love of their people and that there was a lot of love. I think it’s important to frame the Black Panthers’ choices that they made. That at the root of it was love, always.”