Spotlight on John Casablancas Alum: LaKeith Stanfield

From high school drama student to the star of numerous critically acclaimed films, LaKeith Stanfield may be young but his career is far from amateur.

Born and raised in California, Stanfield never really identified being an esteemed performer as a career path. He was simply an entertainer for his family, putting on sock puppet shows for aunts and pretending to have accents at gatherings. It wasn’t until he joined his high school drama club that his ambition began to take form. From there, he began to search for roles in earnest, eventually qualifying for a spot at John Casablancas where he was signed with a manager and began his official acting career.

Stanfield’s start was in commercials but the silver screen had a stronger hold on him. With persistence, he found success in film, landing the leading role in a student film entitled Short Term 12. After that, things went silent for a while. Then, Destin Cretton, the director of the short film, called Stanfield back and invited him to be a part of a full movie production of Short Term 12. Stanfield was in and the rest, they say, is history.

From the film’s success at SXSW and Stanfield’s subsequent nomination for a best supporting male award, he has gone on to achieve what so many set out to do. In 2014, he found himself starring in big-budget movies, including The Purge: Anarchy and Selma. Roles kept coming and, today, he’s quickly becoming a contender for an Oscar in this year’s well-received Judas and the Black Messiah.

As for the future? Only time will tell. With an impressive list of major motion pictures already under his belt and a growing list of accolades and praise, it’s hard to imagine this alum achieving anything less than a place among the stars.

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