Oscar voting ends this coming Tuesday, but don’t overlook Brian Tyree Henry’s subtle, exceptional work as a car mechanic living with disability in “Causeway.” In Lila Neugebauer’s New Orleans-set Apple TV+ drama, Lynsey (Jennifer Lawrence) returns home from a tour in Afghanistan grappling with PTSD and a brain injury, but she finds comfort in James (Henry), himself injured from a traumatic event.
Brian Tyree Henry received a Best Supporting Actor nomination at the Critics Choice Awards, a Best Supporting Performance nomination from the Film Independent Spirit Awards, an Outstanding Supporting Performance nomination from the Gotham Awards, and nods from the LA Film Critics, NAACP Image Awards, and more.
Here, IndieWire shares an exclusive video conversation between last year’s Best Supporting Actor Oscar winner for “CODA,” Troy Kotsur, his interpreter Justin Mauer, and Brian Tyree Henry. In the Apple-hosted Q&A, the two talk about the “blessing” of finding a role like James in “Causeway,” and how the film breaks the mold for how disability is often portrayed onscreen. Kotsur last year made history by becoming the first Deaf man to win an Academy Award for acting. (His “CODA” co-star, Marlee Matlin, previously made history for “Children of a Lesser God.”)
“He physically lost a part of himself. He is now an amputee,” Henry said of his character. “There were parts of me that wanted to explore what that meant because now, not only is he going to have to learn how to walk again, but now he has this label of being considered disabled. And so I found myself trying to figure out and unpack what disability meant because, you know, society has its own rules of what they think disabled people can and can’t do. And more often than not, when you hear the word ‘disability,’ you often think, oh, well, limited. Uh, what am I limited to? What can’t I do? And I wanted to figure out what that was like for somebody who went from being one way [to] all of a sudden now being labeled disabled.”
IndieWire also previously spoke to the Emmy-nominated “Atlanta” star here. “Causeway” is now available to stream on Apple TV+.