Brian Tyree Henry – Anarchy and Infectious Chemistry in “Hotel Artemis” | The Daily Show

Please welcome
Brian Tyree Henry! -♪ ♪
-(cheering, applause) Yeah! Hey. (cheering continues) Thank you. I don’t know
why I felt like I had to bow… You have to bow.
You have to bow. I don’t know why I did that.
I’m sorry. -That is the sign of humility.
-It’s a sign of respect. -I bow to the applause.
-I bow to… (laughs) -Welcome back to the show.
-Thanks, man. First things first–
congratulations on your Tony Award nomination. That is really exciting.
That’s coming up on Sunday? -Yeah.
-(cheering, applause) -Congratulations.
-Yeah. It’s crazy. That’s really exciting.
You know, I was thinking, you’ve got a Tony Award
nomination, right, you were nominated for an Emmy,
I mean, sooner or later you’re gonna win
all of these things. I heard you singing
in an episode of This Is Us. -Yeah.
-Like, why not just… why not just go into music,
be the real Paper Boi, -and then just go for an EGOT?
-I mean, ’cause, like, I want to stay in my lane
a little bit. You know, like, Donald’s already
taken over the music thing, so I don’t want to,
like, go over there. I was like,
I’ll just do theater. I’ll stay and do theater
and let him, like, -let him do the music side.
-Oh, that’s nice of you. I’m a courteous guy.
You know this. Like… I like to share, man. I’m not here
to take it all. I am. Um, l-let’s talk a little bit about all the projects
that you’re doing. -That clip that we just saw
-Yeah. -is from the new movie
Hotel Artemis. -Yeah. And in that scene, you were acting
with Sterling K. Brown– and we’ll chat about that
in a moment– but what is the premise
of Hotel Artemis? It’s a really interesting story. I don’t want
to give too much away, but, first of all, Jodie Foster. -That’s, that’s one.
-Right. And, uh, so it’s a hotel for criminals during
a water drought. -Right. -Which may happen
in the near-distant future. So it’s set in 2028. There’s a water riot going on,
and these criminals, Sterling and I,
who are brothers, we get injured, and we
have to go to this hotel -that is literally made
for criminals. -Right. You pay a membership,
and Jodie Foster plays a nurse that takes care of all
of us there. But we’re not the only criminals that have checked-in
that same day. Right. It’s-It’s
a really crazy premise. -It is insane.
-The two of you being brothers is funny enough, is, like,
the most believable part of the story in terms of
a crazy world, because in real life,
you two are best friends. -Yeah.
-I didn’t know this. Yeah, I’ve known him
for over 11 years. -We actually– uh,
he went to NYU, -Right. uh, for grad school here. And after I graduated from Yale, I came to New York
and started doing theater. And we have been doing, like,
plays here ever since. But we never got to act
in scenes together. We were always, what I call,
“acting adjacent.” So, like, I know he’s over there
talking, but I’m like, I don’t have any scenes
with him, but… (laughs) But, like, so we were
“acting adjacent.” So this time, we finally got to
do this movie, where we’re like, hey, man, like, let’s-let’s
really, like, play brothers. -Like, let’s really do it.
-Right. And I can’t believe
we made it happen. It’s still unbelievable to me. Yeah, because he got you the
role on This Is Us, didn’t he? -Yeah, man. -The role that got
you nominated for the Emmy. -Yeah. Don’t say all that
to him. -That’s really… Now he’s gonna know that,
and he’s gonna, like, run around
and tell everybody that. Oh, you-you want, you want him
to be humble for what…? -Yes.
-Oh, okay. I mean, he already won the Emmy,
so… Well, you got yourself the role
on his show -through him knowing you.
-Thank you, Trevor. -Yes, that’s how it happened.
-Thank you. But, yeah, it’s like, when you
are acting with somebody that you’ve known for that long, is it harder to change
the characters, or do you get into the roles
even deeper? No, it, actually,
you become more of a jackass -because you’re just playing
all the time. -Right. Like, we, literally, we were
there, uh, playing all the time. There was one moment, man,
that, uh, you know, my character
gets injured and I’m laying on the gurney,
and, like, he– I just feel this wetness
on my mouth, and I guess this was his choice to give me mouth-to-mouth
resuscitation? He did not– that’s not
in the script. So after the director yells,
“cut!” I was like, “Oh, yeah.
That’s what we’re gonna do? Just gonna put your mouth
on mine?” So right before he yells,
“action”, I was like, “You have the most tenderest
lips I’ve ever, uh, felt.” And he’s like, “action.” I was
like, “you can’t break now.” Like, what are you gonna do? -You have to finish the scene,
so, yeah. -Right. And now that the story has taken
a completely different turn. It’s all new. That’ll be
the sequel. Uh, it was,
it was a great time, man. We spent a lot of time
just playing and joking. And, like, I feel like
when you have a-a chemistry like that
with somebody, -it’s infectious on set.
-Right. So, you know, we had just
a great time, man. That’s something that seems
to be a trend wherever you go. You’re known for being
an affable person who’s great to work with,
you know. Your cast members speak about
you in such a beautiful way, whether it’s in theater,
whether it’s in TV or movies. I mean, Atlanta is one
of the shows where every single one of us
who’s a fan of the show feels like we know you and
your castmates intimately. -We feel like you’re a family.
-Yeah, well, yeah. You know, wh-when we see Alfred
and the gang hanging out, we feel like that is a family. I’ve always wondered this,
though: Why do you always refer to him as Alfred and not as Paper Boi? Well, because I wanted,
I wanted everyone to be very clear that
that’s who he is. You know what I’m saying?
Paper Boi is the persona that’s put upon him, that’s not,
that’s not who he is. And, um, I just always want to
make sure to remind myself to always check-in with Alfred before I check in
with Paper Boi, ’cause Paper Boi is the one
that gets the fame, and has all these things,
but deep down inside, like, you know,
he’s still Alfred. He started as Alfred,
and I want to make sure that he stays Alfred. You have a lot of roles
coming up. I mean, everyone loves you. People are waiting for you
to play any role that you want. Trev, stop it, man.
I love you. -This is true. This is true.
-You’re, like… -Ugh, man. I love this man
so much. -But this is true. You-You are, you are dearly,
dearly loved. -I am telling you this now.
-Thank you. Are there any roles that
you wish you could play? There’s got to be, like,
dream roles where you go like, “Yeah, I’ve always wanted
to play that character.” I want to be Bruce Leroy. -Bruce Leroy? -Do you guys–
any of y’all know the movie -The Last Dragon?
-Like, from way back? -From, like, The Last Dragon.
-Yeah. Yeah. -Like, I want to be Bruce Leroy.
-Okay. I think it would be–
No, actually, I want you to be Bruce Leroy, and I’d be Sho’nuff. -Don’t get me started.
-I mean, like, I don’t know. Would y’all watch it? Y’all
would watch that, right? (cheering and applause) You need to think about it,
Trev. Think about this project,
and, like, I-I think we can make it happen. You see, and then you wonder
why people love you. This is what– you go around
giving people movie roles, -and then you wonder why people
love you. -I just… I just want to have a chance
for me and you to do something together, man.
I know we’d smash it. No, man, it would,
it would be great. -Thank you so much for being
on the show. -Thank you, man. Hotel Artemis will be in
theaters June 8. Brian Tyree Henry, everybody.