One of the craziest films you’re going to see this year (and maybe this decade) is writer/director Boots Riley’s debut movie, Sorry to Bother You. Unlike most films that are pretty easy to explain, the less you know about Sorry to Bother You the better, because it’s a film with a lot of unexpected twists and turns. However, the spoiler-free summary would be: It takes place in an alternate present day version of Oakland and follows a telemarketer named Cassius Green (Lakeith Stanfield) who begins rising up the ranks at his office when he’s taught how to use his “white voice”—which is just David Cross dubbing all the lines. The film tackles issues of community, greed, assimilation, unionization, corporatism, racism, misogyny, feminism, gentrification, and much, much more. It’s highly satirical and takes place in a heightened reality that, as it gets crazier and crazier, somehow continues to feel realistic. Sorry to Bother You also stars Tessa Thompson, Armie Hammer (the less you know about his character the better), Terry Crews, Steven Yeun, Omari Hardwick, Jermaine Fowler, and Danny Glover.
At the New York press day for the film, I got to sit down with Lakeith Stanfield and Tessa Thompson. During the interview, they talked about what it was like working with Boots Riley, their reaction reading the script for the first time, the city of Oakland, the themes of the film, and more.
Check out what he had to say in the player above and below is exactly what we talked about followed by a few images.
Lakeith Stanfield and Tessa Thompson:
- What was their reaction reading the script for the first time?
- What was it like working with Boots Riley and the things he was trying to address in the film?
- Why is the city of Oakland having so many stories come to life the past few years?