The Jeymes Samuel-directed The Book of Clarence hits theaters on Friday (Jan. 12), and to celebrate his newest film, the star sat down with Billboard‘s Gail Mitchell to discuss the movie.
“I think for me, ‘epic’ and ‘bold’ are two of the words that define cinema. When every other movie is a superhero movie […] it’s really quite rare that we get original storytelling in the cinematic experience,” he shared. “I love cinema, I love film, I love music, I love originality. Who better to combine those things than moi?”
Samuel’s reimagined take on Hollywood’s classic Biblical epics stars LaKeith Stansfield as the streetwise Clarence, a man who is struggling to make a better life for himself and his family. Inspired by the rising power and glory of the Messiah and his disciples, Clarence stakes his own claim to a similar life as he embarks on a journey that encompasses risks as well as redemption and faith.
The film’s soundtrack was spearheaded by Samuel’s longtime friend Jay-Z and his entertainment company, Roc Nation. “We speak every single day,” the British filmmaker said of Jay’s involvement in the film. “It’s not like we create together. He’s a floor to the ceiling creator and I’m a floor to the ceiling creator. We’re just having conversation, laughing our heads off, having fun and at the end of it, these classics are made.”
He continued, “We’re always collaborating. I don’t know when it begins and when it ends, because we’re natural born creators.”
Watch Billboard‘s full interview with Jeymes Samuel above.