‘Judas and the Black Messiah’ entered homes via HBO Max and in Theaters on February 12th. The film, about the assassination of the politically astute and compassionately charismatic leader of the Illinois Chapter of the Black Panther Party Fred Hampton by the hands of FBI informant William O’Neal, features a cast of legends in the making. The project was cultivated by the hands and minds of a dynamic group of Black creators in Hollywood; Director and writer Shaka King, Producer Charles D. King, Producers Ryan and Zinzi Coogler, the Lucas brothers, stylist Charlese Antionette and more. The family of Fred Hampton and the keepers of his legacy, Akua Njeri and Fred Hampton Jr., were present during the entire filming and served as consultants.
Algee Smith joined the ranks with co-stars and leads Daniel Kaluuya as Fred Hampton and Lakeith Stanfield as William O’Neal. Smith plays 19 year old Black Panther Party member Spurgeon “Jake” Winters who was shot by police. Smith joined Tanya on Hollywood Live to chat about his decision to not play any more historical characters who are shot down by the police, the curriculum he studied on set of ‘Judas and the Black Messiah’, getting his role as Ralph Tresvant in the ‘New Edition’ series after entering Hollywood within 30 days, the Black historic titan that he is in the process of writing and producing a film about and how he wants to ‘do everything’ the way he wants to do it.