Five Things To Know About The Caribbean Roots Actor In ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’

Stephan James, 3rd from left along with L-r: (L-R) Shamier Anderson, Chantel Riley, and Eli Goree at a screening of 'If Beale Street Could Talk' at The London Hotel on January 8, 2019 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Rachel Luna/Getty Images)
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News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Jan. 25, 2018: On Tuesday, the movie “If Beale Street Could Talk,” an adaptation of the novel by James Baldwin, secured three Oscar nominations. But did you know the lead actor in the movie has Caribbean roots? Here are five things you should know about actor Stephan James:

1: Stephan James, 25, who plays Alonzo “Fonny” Hunt in “If Beale Street Could Talk,” was born in Canada to Jamaican parents. His parents migrated to Canada from Spanish Town, Jamaica. His mom was a single parent to three children and a social worker.

2: James got his start in television with a reoccurring role for two seasons on the long-running Canadian teen series Degrassi. He landed his first major feature film role playing opposite Tatyana Ali and Fefe Dobson in the Canadian film “Home Again” in (2012), in which he played a Jamaican deportee.

3: In 2013, James was cast as civil rights activist John Lewis in Ava Duvernay’s Martin Luther King Jr. film Selma (2014), which went on to be nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars. And by 2015, James guest starred in the CBC television mini-series The Book of Negroes, based on the award-winning novel of the same name by Lawrence Hill, and at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival, James was named as one of TIFF’s Rising Stars.

4: In 2016, James won the Canadian Screen Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role as African-American track and field sprinter Jesse Owens in the biopic Race.

5: James play Fonny Hunt, a working-class man unjustly imprisoned by racist authorities while his girlfriend Tish is pregnant with their child in the Oscar nominated movie. You can next catch him alongside Oscar-winner J.K. Simmons and Black Panther‘s Chadwick Boseman in 17 Bridges, a Manhattan-based cop thriller scheduled to come out in theatres in July. USA, LLC