Lakeith Stanfield Biography
Lakeith Lee "Keith" Stanfield (born August 12, 1991) is an American actor and rapper. He made his feature film debut in Short Term 12 (2013), for which he was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award. In 2014, he co-starred in the horror film The Purge: Anarchy and in the Martin Luther King biopic Selma, as civil rights activist Jimmie Lee Jackson.
Stanfield appeared in the film Dope (2015). He played rapper Snoop Dogg in the biopic about the hip-hop group N.W.A, Straight Outta Compton (2015), and will appear in the upcoming Oliver Stone biopic Snowden (2015). Stanfield was born in San Bernardino, California, and grew up in Riverside and Victorville, California. He has said that he "grew up very poor in a fractured family that was dysfunctional on both sides".
He decided to become an actor when he was 14 years old when he joined his high school's drama club. He attended the John Casablancas Modeling and Career Center in Los Angeles, where he was signed by an agency manager and began to audition for commercials. Stanfield's first role was in the short film Short Term 12 (2009), which was filmmaker Destin Daniel Cretton's thesis project at San Diego State University, and won the Jury Award for U.
S. Short Filmmaking at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. A year later, he appeared in the short film Gimme Grace (2010), before he gave up acting for several years. He went on to work a number of different jobs—roof work, gardening, at AT&T, and at a legal marijuana factory—before he was contacted by Cretton to reappear in a feature-length adaptation of Short Term 12, his first feature film.
For the duration of the film's production, Stanfield practiced method acting, distancing himself from the other cast members like his character, Marcus. He was the only actor to appear in both the short and feature films. Short Term 12 won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Narrative Feature at the 2013 South by Southwest film festival, and Stanfield was nominated for the Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male.
The film featured "Vicious", a rap song co-written with Milgaten, and "So You Know What It's Like", a rap song co-written with Cretton, which a number of Oscar pundits predicted would be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song, although it did not ultimately receive a nomination. In 2014, Stanfield co-starred in The Purge: Anarchy and Selma, in the latter playing civil rights activist Jimmie Lee Jackson.
He is set to appear in James Franco's upcoming film Memoria and in Don Cheadle's Miles Ahead. Stanfield will also star in the fantasy horror thriller film King Ripple, by the Michigan filmmaker Luke Jaden, and the music video for the Run the Jewels song "Close Your Eyes (And Count to Fuck)". In 2015, he portrayed rapper Snoop Dogg in the biopic Straight Outta Compton.
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