Harold Perrineau tried to avoid stereotypical roles in early career

Harold Perrineau

Mark Sullivan

When Harold Perrineau first started acting, he vowed to avoid the stereotypical roles that often are handed to black actors. Perrineau, who’s breakout role was a crippled prisoner in HBO’s “Oz,” spoke in great lengths about his remarkable career in a recent interview.

“At the time, one of the things I was really trying to be conscious of was not to be a young black thug, a young thief, a young whatever,” said Perrineau. “But King Of New York was so wacky and wild. It was the second movie I’d ever done, and it wasn’t like I could say no to every single thing. I had turned down a number of auditions at the time, but this was like—Christopher Walken! There was no way to not be there. I took it and didn’t have a lot to say, but I got to be on set with a bunch of amazing people: Laurence Fishburne, Christopher Walken, and Wesley [Snipes]. I couldn’t believe I was even there. It was a lot of fun.”

Read the full interview on the AV Club.


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