Delroy Lindo discusses his powerful performance as Paul, a pro-Trump Vietnam vet, in Spike Lee’s new drama Da 5 Bloods, in the latest installment of Rolling Stone’s “The Breakdown.”
The actor reveals that he was at first reluctant to play the part — despite being recruited by Lee, a longtime collaborator — because of the character’s politics.
“My initial reaction to the Trumpian aspect of Paul was trepidation,” Lindo says. “I called Spike, and I let him know that I was having problems coming to terms with that aspect of the character. And Spike thought about it for a few days, but then texted me and he said he really need Paul to be a Trump guy. I asked Spike to give me some time with the script, he said no problem, and I was able to rationalize in my head — and empathize, importantly — with Paul’s decision to cast that vote as he did in 2016.”
Elsewhere, Lindo talks about transforming his character from the page to the shoot, working with his fellow cast members, and joining forces again with Lee, who previously cast Lindo in Malcolm X, Crooklyn, and Clockers.
“Spike exhibited the creative and professional regard for me that he has always exhibited anytime we have worked together,” Lindo says. “And, as a result of that, he gives me elbow room, he gives me the space to investigate. If I’m inspired to say or do something in the moment, I always have the space with Spike to do it, as long as it is in service of the story.”
Da 5 Bloods is available to stream now on Netflix; read Peter Travers’ five-star review for Lee’s latest.