By Bill Vaughan
With memorable character performances in a string of popular critically acclaimed television series including “Lost,” “Claws,” “Star” and “Oz” on his resume, you could consider HAROLD PERRINEAU the King of One-Word Hit Shows.
“And in each one of them we’re trapped somewhere,” added the Brooklyn native after a hearty laugh at the notion with TASTY CLIPS. “In a prison, on an island, in a town. That’s been my good fortune because they’ve all been really good shows written by amazing writers with a bunch of amazing actors.”
Add the eerie horror thriller “From,” to that esteemed list. In the Nova Scotia-filmed series currently streaming on Epix, Perrineau portrays Sheriff Boyd Stevens, the enigmatic leader of an isolated town whose dwellers are besieged by compelling yet violent night creatures.
Upon reading the script, he found the situation to be somewhat of a parallel to the pandemic.
“I was like this is exactly what it felt like for the last two years,” Perrineau said. “I felt like we were all sort of trapped inside this one place and there was a monster out there that none of us knew [anything about]. We had to figure out some kind of way to protect ourselves. So, I thought it was really transferable for me as an actor.
“Boyd is one of those guys who does what he does, and you have to ask if he’s right or wrong. I personally think he’s doing the best he can. He’s a man of service who really wants to do everything he can to help the people there.” Perrineau continued.
“He just doesn’t have time for the shenanigans and doesn’t suffer fools well. He doesn’t care if he has to break rules. I like that he’s that passionate. Some people are not going to like him. Some are going to watch if he gets killed.”
More laughter followed when it was suggested that he may have been the first Black autistic sex symbol on television via his role for four seasons as the younger brother of Niecy Nash’s Desna Simms on TNT’s “Claws.”
“That is funny. You’re probably right if that’s true for anybody,” he said. “But I do remember one time I was walking in Atlanta, and this girl was like, ‘Uh, Are you Dean?’ I said, Well no, I’m Harold. She’s like ‘Uh, Cause you know Dean could get it.’ I was like, OK! Imma keep rolling. I’m not sure what you’re telling me. I was really surprised by it.”
Much like the many fans of “Lost” were at the conclusion of the sci-fi mystery series that ran on ABC for six seasons.
“I understood the ending,” he admitted. “I don’t know if I like it. In that way that, in the very beginning we were like, ‘We’re not in purgatory, right?’ And they were like ‘No, no, no. Of course not.’ Then later we’re in purgatory!
“But I really understood it from the creators’ point of view,” he added. “That at the end of the day it was just about the journey. It was about the fun we had on this ride, and you don’t have to get all the answers. I kind of got that and understand people were upset about it.”
Many forget Perrineau was once in “The Matrix” franchise and while he felt the 2021 reboot was fun, he thinks the thrill is gone after the secret of the far superior original film was out.
“The first one was so amazing that we expect to be blown away like that each time,” reasoned the films’ Link. There were great special effects, characters and story, but it didn’t have the same feeling once you realized they were all batteries.”
Despite not having a strong desire to direct, Perrineau has been working for a couple of years as a producer on “Slay The Dreamer,” about one part of the coverup of the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
He explains: “It centers around finding this woman who no one really knows much about named Grace Walden. She was the only eyewitness to the person who left the rooming house, and she has always said the person they arrested is not who she saw. She suddenly disappeared one day. It took eight years to find her. We have a whole story that we’ve been trying to get out about her. It’s been tricky.”
In the meantime, the 58-year-old husband and father of three including actress Aurora Perrineau (Fox’s “Prodigal Son”) is back in New York about to start production on an eight-episode follow-up to his beloved film series entitled “The Best Man: The Final Chapters” from writer-director Malcom D. Lee for Peacock.
Of this last tale to be told, Perrineau says, “Television is sexier than the movies these days. I think that my Dean fans will be like ‘Oh Snap’ again when they see what’s coming up for Julian Murch.”
CLIPPETTES: Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. was the recipient this month of a $2 million dollar donation from Sirius/XM granting them naming rights to a music wing …
Marc Anthony’s Pa’lla Voy Tour lands March 18 at Crypto.Com Arena; while Dawn Richard sings at the Peppermint Club; and Slum Village raps at Santa Ana’s La Santa …
“Celebrity Big Brother” finalist Todrick Hall performs March 19 at The Wiltern; as Adrian Marcel croons at The Mint …
The Culture Tour with New Edition, Charlie Wilson and Jodeci arrives March 20 at Crypto.Com Arena; while reggae veterans Israel Vibrations headline at the Coach House …
The Grammy Museum celebrates the release of Mindi Abair’s “Forever” on March 23 with the jazz/soul saxophonist performing, participating in an intimate conversation, and hosting a special wine tasting reception hosted by her wineandjazz.com site …
GZA & Inspectah Deck of Wu-Tang Clan hold court at the Lodge Room on March 24.
TASTY QUIP: “I am not here to debate you on his innocence, but we can agree that the punishment does not fit the crime. Emmett Till was brutally beat and ultimately murdered because of a lie and none of the people involved with his demise spent one day in jail, even after Carolyn Bryant (Donham) admitted that her claims were false.” — TARAJI P. HENSON on the jailing of her “Empire” co-star Jussie Smollett for 150 days in Chicago on charges of disorderly conduct and filing false police reports
TC ON TV: March 18 – “Master” (Prime Video): Regina Hall and Zoe Renee star in this thriller about two African-American women who begin to share disturbing experiences at a predominantly white college in New England. “Dangerous” (AMC+): Stars Tyrese Gibson and Mel Gibson. “Cheaper By The Dozen” (Disney+): A remake of the 2003 hit comedy about a blended family of 12 from producers Kenya Barris (“black-ish”) and Gabrielle Union, who co-stars with Zach Braff and Timon Kyle Durrett (“Queen Sugar”). “Human Resources” (Netflix): The voices of Keke Palmer, Maya Rudolph, Rosie Perez, Thandiwe Newton and more are featured in this animated comedy. “Top Boy” (Netflix): The return of the Drake produced London-based crime drama. “Young, Famous & African” (Netflix): This reality series follows a group of famed, affluent young media stars in Johannesburg.
March 20 – “The Simpsons” (Fox): The Weeknd voices Bart the Cool Kid. “Friends Speak” (Reelz): Bobbi Kristina Brown “An Audience with Adele” (NBC): From the London Palladium. “Unsung” (TV1): Thelma Houston “Nomad with Carlton McCoy” (CNN): Follows the cool classically trained chef and master sommelier on his quests. “Uncensored” (TV1): Master P
March 21 – “American Song Contest” (NBC): Hosted by Snoop Dogg and Kelly Clarkson. “All American: Homecoming” (CW): The great Michael Schultz (“Car Wash,” “Cooley High”) directed this episode.
March 22 – “The 2022 iHeartRadio Music Awards” (Fox): LL Cool J hosts and performs in this edition honoring Jennifer Lopez.
March 23 – “The Green Room with Nadia Brown” (Ovation): A five-part original comedic journalism series celebrating and exploring the Creative Economy.
March 24 – “Halo” (Paramount+): Based on the iconic Xbox franchise starring Pablo Schreiber (“American Gods”) and Bokeem Woodbine (“Fargo”). “One Perfect Shot” (HBO Max): Ava DuVernay is executive producer of this series exploring filmmaking with Kasi Lemmons and other directors. “Atlanta” (FX): At long last, season three!
END QUOTE: “I think that when you [use African American], you’re disclaiming all the contributions that Black people have made to America. I consider myself to be a Black American, and I enjoy being called Black, and Black has been so negativized as a color down throughout history by those who wanted to negativize it. And so, it spilled over into the Black community and to the Black people. And even Black people back in the day calling each other Black was a sign for a fight — like Black was so negative. We’ve contributed so much to America that it should be acknowledged. … That’s how I feel about being Black and I’m proud to call [myself] a Black American.” — SMOKEY ROBINSON on ABC’s “The View”
As featured in the Los Angeles Wave and Independent, Tasty Clips is one of the leading entertainment columns in the nation, serving nearly one million weekly readers. Bill Vaughan may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, via Twitter @tastyclips, or Instagram @tasty_clips.