Lil Rel Howery is quickly becoming one of my favorite actors out there. There’s a lot more to his resume than this, but one of the things that always wows me about Howery’s work is when he manages to make a huge impression as a supporting character. There was his role as Rod in Get Out, playing Jillian Bell’s supportive brother-in-law in my favorite movie of 2019 Brittany Runs a Marathon, and now Howery is a scene stealer in The Photograph as well.
He plays the brother of LaKeith Standfield’s character, Michael Block. Michael is a journalist who winds up coming across a photograph while working on an assignment that leads him straight to Issa Rae’s character, Mae. Mae’s mother just unexpectedly passed. Eager for answers about the decisions her mother made throughout her life, Mae’s search for information about the past and how best to move forward herself becomes intertwined with a budding romance with Michael. Along the way, both spend some time with Howery’s character and his family, and they’re some of the most charming scenes of the movie.
With The Photograph hitting theaters nationwide on Valentine’s Day, I got the opportunity to sit down with the cast of the film including Howery. We got to chat about the art of successfully bringing a supporting character to screen, his own most important photograph and his experience making the prank movie Bad Trip with Tiffany Haddish and Eric André which is set to premiere at SXSW in March:
“I don’t know if I’d ever do it again which is scary if it’s really successful. I’d be like, ‘Y’all have to kill my character off or something.’ Those are real reactions from people and you don’t know how they’re going to react to things. It’s fun and it’s also frightening.”
Howery even admitted, “The first day was one of the craziest first days of anything I’ve – I almost quit.” Is it bad that things getting that intense during filming makes me want to see the movie even more? Keep an eye out for thoughts on Bad Trip on Collider.com when it debuts in Austin on March 14th.
You can find a full breakdown of my chat with Howery below:
- The key to create a memorable supporting character.
- Howery on keeping in touch with LaKeith Stanfield and Issa Rae.
- Howery on Bad Trip and why he might never do a prank movie again.
- What’s the photo Howery has the most of on his phone?
- What’s the most important photo to Howery?