In Keith We Trust: On The Rise in Hollywood
By Randall Rydell Russell
Keith Stanfield, heard of him before? He’s a young black actor who has worked with Don
Cheadle, F. Gary Gray, Michael K. Williams, and countless others, plus he’s a rapper. Here’s the scoop
about Mr. Stanfield.
From Victorville, California where he pursued his rap career, Keith was bitten by the acting bug
and appeared in a few plays but wanted to make the transition to film. He appeared in the short film
Short Term 12, where he believed his career would take off. It didn’t. He was passed over during many
auditions and had to take regular 9-5 jobs to make ends meet. He threw his aspirations to be an actor
out the window and just worked and made a couple rap tracks here and there.
Then, in 2012, he got the a call from the director of Short Term 12 who was telling him he was
making a feature out of the short and wanted Keith to reprise his role. Keith became the only actor from
the short to return for the feature. The feature did great in the indie world and a mass audience was
able to see the type of actor Keith is.
After that role, Keith was given a role as a villain in the action sequel The Purge: Anarchy
alongside Frank Grillo, Michael K. Williams and Edwin Hodge (the only actor to return from the original
film). He then portrayed Jimmie Lee Jackson in the historical biopic Selma.
Next for Keith, he will be starring alongside actor/director Don Cheadle in the Miles Davis biopic
Miles Ahead. Memoria alongside James Franco and Straight Outta Compton, the N.W.A. biopic directed
by F. Gary Gray where Keith will portray a young Snoop Dogg and appear alongside a group of young
black actors including Ice Cube’s son (whose playing Ice Cube) and Paul Giamatti who will play Jerry
Heller, the manager for the group.
From having the worst time finding work, to being in demand with some of the best names in
the industry, Keith Stanfield is going to make sure that you remember his name for many years to