Kofi Siriboe may be one of Hollywood’s most promising heartthrobs, but – as reaffirmed by an exclusive chat with That Grape Juice – the ‘Queen Sugar’ star isn’t running low on his supply of substance.
At just 27-years-young, the model-turned-actor’s resume reads of impressive diversity – with roles in film and television that have seen his name listed on credits alongside the likes of Queen Latifah, Ice Cube, Rutina Wesley, Tina Lifford, and many others.
In that same vein, the latest addition to his growing filmography, new Netflix movie ‘Really Love,’ sees Siriboe stand toe-to-toe with even more entertainment vets (i.e. Blair Underwood, Michael Ealy, Suzzanne Douglas, etc.) while also leading the charge to deliver a refreshingly honest, yet necessarily updated take on the Black Love trope.
Hop inside to read our interview with Kofi where he discusses ‘Really Love,’ why Black representation in film matters, season 6 of ‘Queen Sugar,’ and so much more!
That Grape Juice: Congratulations on the release of ‘Really Love’! Does it feel like a big weight gets lifted off of your shoulders every time a TV show or movie premieres?
Kofi: Yes! It feels like it’s been in the incubator and a secret thing, but once you’re able to share it with the people it becomes communal. It feels like birth, as if it’s actually alive and you can actually feel the pulse of it.
There’s nothing like knowing what the people feel.
That Grape Juice: When it comes to “what the people feel,” how do you respond to criticism of your work – good or bad?
Kofi: I’m human, so I think feeling some type of way is inevitable because I put my heart into my work. We all have to learn to deal with that process of knowing people are entitled to feel how they feel – especially if they’re not talking crazy (laughs).
That Grape Juice: That’s a great outlook. For those who are unfamiliar, what is ‘Really Love’ really about?
Kofi: I call it a psychological romance. It’s character driven and about these individuals, their personal worlds, their personal friend groups, and how those all collide. It’s beautiful.
That Grape Juice: When you read the script, did you go into it thinking about how you could make a 21st century answer to classic Black love films like ‘Love Jones,’ ‘Jason’s Lyric,’ ‘Love & Basketball,’ etc.?
Kofi: Don’t forget ‘Brown Sugar’! People don’t give that film enough credit (laughs).
My intention is to be true in representing where we [as Black people] are now. It’s never my desire to recreate a previous movie, but definitely to honor the past, where we are now, my personal experience with love, and what things have spoken to me along my journey.
That Grape Juice: Let’s talk about some of the big names in ‘Really Love.’ I see Michael Ealy, Blair Underwood, the late Suzzanne Douglas, Uzo Aduba, and Naturi Naughton just to name a few. What was it like working them?
Kofi: It was really fantastical and nostalgic, but real at the same time! These are people I’ve watched growing up and people I still watch now, but it was great to know they’re ‘just humans.’ It was such a blessing to work with them.
Suzzanne was just a light. Her presence, how she carried herself in her life, and how she shined was just a vibe. She inspired us.
That Grape Juice: Such an unsung veteran in the game!
That Grape Juice: Let’s switch gears a bit to talk about the season 6 return of ‘Queen Sugar.’ Ahead of its September 7 premiere, what are some things we can expect?
Kofi: A lot of growth and a lot of conclusions, but also some new paths. I think just like in real life, the pandemic shook things up and made people have these insights. They made decisions they would not have under normal circumstances.
In season 6, you’ll see them get back on their feet. You’ll even see some new characters. It’s dope and I can’t wait for you guys to watch.
That Grape Juice: As a fan of the show, I think I ask this question for many viewers: why does Ralph Angel cry so much?
Kofi: Man, why does everybody out there ask me that (laughs)? Let Ralph Angel emote! Truthfully, it’s instinctive to his character. I’m milking the opportunity to make him a multi-dimensional man.
Shout out to the crew and Ava Duvernay, Oprah Winfrey, and Natalie Baszile for creating a world where this kind of character is available. Black men do cry and express themselves emotionally; they should not have to feel some type of way about it. I may cry more than Ralph Angel does (laughs). Who knows?
That Grape Juice: Bringing it all home, what else does Kofi Siriboe have in store for us in the near future?
Kofi: I definitely have some good projects coming up. I wish I could talk about them, but you’ll just have to keep your ears open about them.
I’m really excited about my media company We’re Not Kids Anymore.
That Grape Juice: Tell us a little more about that.
Kofi: It’s a community that anchors conversational nostalgia. It’s not so much focusing on the past, but realizing we create nostalgia in real time. It’s about appreciating time and celebrating the moments that made us like ‘Love Jones’ and other movies like them.
Those things affected us along our journey, and We’re Not Kids Anymore is just being intentional and insightful about adding to that timeline.