‘Atlanta’ star Brian Tyree Henry is ‘exhausted beyond belief’ — and he’s thrilled about it
The breakout star of FX’s “Atlanta” flew in from New York just a few hours earlier to attend the premiere of the second season of the offbeat comedy, which returns Thursday. He’ll be catching the red-eye back right after the event to resume rehearsals for the upcoming Broadway production “Lobby Hero,” by acclaimed writer Kenneth Lonergan (“Manchester by the Sea”).
But battling jet lag and a lack of sleep hasn’t dampened Henry’s mood on this frosty February afternoon as he settles into a booth at a West Hollywood lounge. Joking and animated, his words flow rapid-fire as he attempts to describe what it’s like to be caught in a whirlwind.
Being exhausted and excited makes sense given that Henry experienced a year in which he was featured in one of TV’s hottest comedies, earned an Emmy nomination for his work on one of TV’s hottest dramas (“This Is Us”), worked on several films with a roster of top names including Oscar winners Viola Davis, Jodie Foster and director Steve McQueen (“12 Years a Slave”), and is now Broadway-bound.
I’ve been doing this for 11 years, and to have this kind of breakout moment is fantastic.
“I’ve been doing this for 11 years, and to have this kind of breakout moment is fantastic,” says Henry, who first made a splash originating the role of “The General” in the Broadway musical, “The Book of Mormon.” “I don’t even want to call it a moment, because I want it to last.”
He’s particularly pumped about “Atlanta,” the series created and produced by Donald Glover about two cousins maneuvering awkwardly through the city’s hip-hop music scene. Henry earned raves for his performance as rough-edged rapper Alfred “Paper Boi” Miles who is armed with both a withering glare and a pistol.
The first season drew widespread critical raves and scored two major Emmy wins — lead actor and director for a comedy for Glover — as well as a nomination…