WATCH | Clarke Peters and Delroy Lindo tell us about their roles in Spike Lee's 'Da 5 Bloods'

Clarke Peters and Delroy Lindo.
Clarke Peters and Delroy Lindo.
Screengrab: Channel24

Channel24's Leandra Engelbrecht had an on-camera Zoom interview with Clarke Peters and Delroy Lindo about their new film, Da 5 Bloods.

It's 19:00 on a cold Monday evening in Cape Town, and I'm a bit nervous. It's not every day that I get to sit down with two veteran actors via Zoom.

Clarke Peters (The Wire) and Delroy Lindo (Malcolm X) need no introduction. Together with Norm Lewis and Isiah Whitlock Jr they star in the new Spike Lee Netflix film, Da 5 Bloods.

The four are Vietnam veterans who go on one last mission together to retrieve the remains of their squad leader and collect the gold they buried.

Delroy plays Paul, a Maga hat-wearing tragic character who has never sought help for his PTSD and Clarke plays Otis, a Vietnam War medic who walks around with a pocketful of pills.

Clarke Peters as Otis and Delroy Lindo as Paul in
Clarke Peters as Otis and Delroy Lindo as Paul in 'Da 5 Bloods'.

My nervousness soon vanishes when Clarke and Delroy appear on the screen. I quickly get swept up in their passion as they speak about their roles and what it means to be in a film like this during a time when being Black in America is still as precarious as it was then.

The film's strongest theme is brotherhood, which the cast fostered through bootcamp and learning The Dap - a handshake that African-Americans originated during the Vietnam War.

To play Otis, Clarke says he had to access something inside of him to pull as much out to serve the character's humanity.

Apart for the 2012 movie Red Tails, we seldom see war films told solely from the perspective of Black soldiers.

For Delroy, this story is a historical corrective: "From my point of view this adds to the genre that there were Black men there, and not only were Black men there, we were suffering a lot of the fighting."

In turn, Clarke says that he has reclaimed responsibility with this film.

"And also a way to use my voice to share with people what you saw ten days ago in Minnesota was a continuation of the same type of racism and genocide that has happened to Black people across the world," he says.

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