If you’re looking for an example of an actor with a sound body of work who never had to overextend himself to achieve, look no further than Larenz Tate. The 38-year-old multifaceted talent has been wooing audiences for 4 decades and counting in a wide range of scene-stealing roles.
Tate’s rare opportunities to meticulously choose his roles has stuffed his filmography with a healthy amount of classics to add next to his name. From his portrayal as the Black woman’s Shakespeare in Love Jones to fed up war vet in Dead Presidents to the unofficial titular character in Menace II Society, his legacy has been cemented in stone for some time now.
Speaking of classics, Tate’s follow-up to Menace II Society with 1994’s The Inkwell falls on the more storied side of his body of work but doesn’t get its just due thanks to the incredible reception of the aforementioned hood flick.
Larenz can attest to this as he sits down with Hip-Hop Wired to discuss Inkwell’s impact on its 20-year anniversary, dispute being initially slept-on.
“At the time it came out, it wasn’t a big impact like Menace,” he remembers. “We weren’t known to be a diverse audience–which we are. It was really good that people over the years started to slowly say, ‘O.K. This is a movie about the Black experience.”
The slow burn proved to be the best source of heat as The Inkwell is now considered to be a cult classic. Tate is hoping his most recent film, BET’s Gun Hill, will live on to see the same good fortune.
Peep the entire interview below and catch up with the rest of the cast in our Where Are They Now? segment. Be sure to check your local listings so you can catch Gun Hill next time it airs.
Photo: Hip-Hop Wired