Lakeith Stanfield Says He Needed Therapy After Filming ‘Judas and the Black Messiah’

Lakeith Stanfield revealed he had to attend therapy for his panic attacks following his portrayal of William O’Neal in Judas and the Black Messiah.

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During a recent interview with Level, Lakeith explained that his connection with Daniel Kaluuya, who portrayed Fred Hampton, made it hard for him to separate his real emotions from acting.

“In the scene where I had to poison him, a lot of it didn’t end up making it to the final cut, but we shot [me mixing it in] Kool-Aid, and I had to go through all those emotions,” he said. “With somebody like Daniel, who I just respect as a human and an artist, as Fred Hampton, it felt like I was actually poisoning Chairman Fred Hampton.”


Following production on the film, Stanfield said that he suffered from panic attacks, and realized he needed therapy as a result of his emotional attachment to the characters.

“So sometimes your body thinks that’s real, everything you’re putting it through. It’s no wonder I’ve been feeling so stressed out and having panic attacks. I realized going forward before I step into something like that again, maybe have a therapist,” he said.

“I’ve found this really cool therapist. It’s great and perfect for me right now. Hopefully, it continues to be the case. It’s helped me a lot. After doing press yesterday, I had another session and it was amazing,” he continued. “It helps you unlock things about yourself. It’s not even necessarily about the person that you’re doing therapy with, but like you said, perspectives and strategies and tools that you didn’t have access to before.”