VSB Interview with Queen Sugar’s Kofi Siriboe » VSB

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VSB Interview with Queen Sugar’s Kofi Siriboe

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

 

(Interview edited for clarity and length.)

The mid-season finale of OWN’s hit show, Queen Sugar, is tonight and VSB had the opportunity to speak with Kofi Siriboe on his breakout role as Ralph-Angel, toxic masculinity and why for come he couldn’t have been in every scene in Girls Trip.  Kofi Siriboe’s Ralph Angel is a riddle of a man. Tender yet selfish. Forward-thinking on ideas of gender-fluidity and sexuality yet vulnerable to the same fuckboi-ish tendencies of misogynoir that did many a Hotep and Breakfast Club host in. Last season of Queen Sugar saw his character wrestle with what it meant to be a free man recently released from incarceration, with all the pitfalls and disappointments that come along with it. It also saw R-A reconcile with not only the death of the Bordelon patriarch but the recovering drug addict-mother of his child.

VSB: Congratulations are in order to you and the rest of the cast! Queen Sugar was picked up for a third season.

KS: Thank you!

VSB: Kofi, first and foremost, thank you so much for speaking with us today! Everybody here at VSB loves Queen Sugar. I especially love your character, Ralph-Angel. You do such a wonderful job humanizing a character who is quite different than the character in the book. I actually can’t stand Ralph-Angel in the book.

KS: [laughs] You can’t stand him?

VSB: Not at all.

KS: [laughs some more]

VSB: Your character has been through a lot this season and last. Can you talk to me about Ralph-Angel’s struggles as a black man with a record and how that dictates the moves he’s able to make in the world?

KS: I feel it is very important to tell this type of story of Ralph-Angel as a character and a black man. You don’t see this type of character, this type of black man,  portrayed on t.v. Not only Ralph-Angel’s journey, but I feel like we are telling the story of many black men. I feel like all of us [in the black community] have or know or have been a Ralph-Angel at some point. I’ve been in the industry for a very long time – since I was little – and I’ve been waiting to play a character like this for years.

VSB: I’ve definitely known a couple of Ralph-Angels in my own life. And what they tell me is with reentry it’s very hard and you notice the little things like wanting to regain the intimacy of touch that you aren’t allowed as a man behind bars.

KS: Definitely.

VSB: So Ralph-Angel has done a lot right this season with his treatment of the Kenya situation (Editor’s note: Kenya is a doll that belongs to Blue, Ralph-Angel’s son) and your scenes with Brian Michael a few episodes back.

KS: That was a powerful moment. Shooting that scene…

(Suddenly Kofi’s reception gets bad on his end.)

KS: Ma’am. I’m sorry, I’m having trouble hearing you so I’m going to hang up and call back in.

(Did he just call me “ma’am”? Suddenly I’m reminded of Kofi’s age.)

[Calls back in moments later]

KS: Sorry about that, ma’am.

(There it goes again. So chivalrous but so defeating at the same dayum time!)

VSB: No problem! So we left off with you talking about trans rights and the importance of including that in the dialogue for this season. Can you talk about toxic masculinity for a bit and how you’ve seen it play out in your own life, in the life of others and how it’s playing out in your character’s life?

KS: Toxic masculinity is something that I’ve seen in my own life. We as men are afraid to be vulnerable, afraid to show emotion. And in the black community the way we are portrayed in the media often times, it’s like we can’t cry, we can’t show fear.

VSB: I think it’s often seen as being a “black” problem when it’s not.

KS: Exactly.

VSB: How did you conceptualize the character Ralph-Angel from the book to the small screen? Was this something that you collaborated on with Ava and Oprah? How did you bring him off the page?

KS: Ralph-Angel is very much adapted from pieces of me and the things that I have been through in my own life. Working with Ava is just…it was a blessing. We came together and I learned so much from her in this experience.

VSB: Talk to me about your character’s relationship to his son, Blue.

KS: The love they share is something special that we are able to portray: The love of a father for his son and he accepts him. Especially his understanding of the relationship between Blue and Kenya and how he doesn’t question. And how protective he is of Blue while still allowing this child to be a child and to experience innocence.

VSB: Let’s switch gears for a moment. Talk to me about your experience shooting Girls Trip with Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith, Regina Hall and Tiffany Haddish?

KS: Did you have an opportunity to go see it?

VSB: We saw it over the weekend and everybody in the theatre lost their minds during your scenes.

KS: [laughs] Thank you. It was just a blessing getting to work with these actors that I looked up to so much and they were so welcoming on set. So I’m glad that they are getting the recognition they deserve and the movie is doing well.

VSB: Kofi, here at VSB we’re really big on talking about unapologetic blackness. Tell me, what does black boy joy mean to you?

KS: Well, you just said it. Black boy joy looks like unapologetic blackness and being able to stand in your truth.

VSB: That’s the blackest thing we’ve heard all week.

 

Jordan Kauwling

Jordan Kauwling is an early thirties Philadelphian but she tells everyone she’s in her late thirties because she doesn’t understand how math works. When she’s not busy writing, singing, eating all the falafel or unsuccessfully finishing another craft project you can catch her talking junk on Twitter.

  • Deeds
  • Jordan got Ma’amed by Ralh Angel. You know I love you VIP but that’s hilarious.

  • Michelle is my First Lady

    Nice, VSB!

    Kofi is a gentleman and I just love how he celebrates black women. I met him (we shared a 10 minute convo) and his momma a few months ago and just loved how in tune he was with his fans. Oh, and he smells like the heavens!

    • TheUnsungStoryteller

      Say what now?!?

      • Michelle is my First Lady

        Yeah, I met him at the QS season premiere in NYC a few months ago. Met him, the momma, and got a kiss on the cheek. My girls and I stayed around for a bit after the premiere and had a really down-to-earth convo with him. Man, those are memories you hold on to forever.

        • LadySiriboe

          His mama was there? I would have been busy negotiating my bride price.

          • Michelle is my First Lady

            We got in great with mom. We basically family lol

    • Ooooooooooooooooooo… I bet he smelled like dreams, guava and ambition! LAWD!

      https://gifimage.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/swoon-gif-8.gif

      • Michelle is my First Lady
        • Mariamdoxey

          Tips16

          Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family! !au46d:
          On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
          !au46:
          ??
          ??;?? http://GoogleFinancialJobsCash336HomeWow/Pay$97/Hour ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????:::::!au46l..,.

        • Marlenelsturm


          our best friend’s half sister gets $73 per hour on the internet.. she has been fired from work for 11 months… last month her check was $17163 just working on the laptop two hours per day. ?check ?this link
          ???http://www.GoogleFinancialCashJobs451OfficeBrain/Home/Wage….
          ?????????????????????????????????????????????????::::ai161…

      • Junegirl627

        When the perfect Gif, comment, and VSB article comes together….

    • miss t-lee
      • Michelle is my First Lady
        • Darkchloe144

          Awesome photo!

          • Michelle is my First Lady

            Thanks DC! :-)

        • NonyaB?

          Love it. You have such a purdy smile, Tee!

          • Michelle is my First Lady

            Awww, thanks Nonya!

        • miss t-lee

          Get it!!!!

          • Michelle is my First Lady

            Girl… yes!

        • Very cool, and I like your braids here.

          • Michelle is my First Lady

            Thanks Todd!

            • Val

              I missed your beautiful face?!

              • Michelle is my First Lady

                Sorry Val! I took a page out of Kas’ book…. had the pic up a good 5 minutes

                • LadySiriboe

                  Crop yourself out and repost it again. *wink wink*

                • Tam

                  I missed it

    • conlakappa

      He looks like he smells like cocoa butter, with a hint of coconut and pheromones. He is about 12 though. His brother is a voice on Gumball.

      • LadySiriboe

        He is 2017-1994. Thanks, much.

        • conlakappa

          Sorry, I am not familiar with this love thang you have for him and didn’t understand your handle until today!

      • THAT’S HIS BROTHER?!!?!!?!?!

        • LadySiriboe

          Imagine. My brother in law doing his thing. (How he looks like me no know)

        • conlakappa

          Yep. There are 3 of them acting, all born in the 1990s, IIRC.

      • Mary Burrell

        The little brother is adorable they handsome young brothers they have beautiful skin and features.

    • Transbutter

      OMG WHAT! Lucky!

    • Brown Rose

      Lucky lady. He is cuuuuute.

  • Val

    AfricanMami where you at? Calling AM! A post about your ehubby!

    https://media.giphy.com/media/103h3BQvbsabgA/giphy.gif

    • LadySiriboe

      Honey! I just logged back in! I’m unable to even can, right now.

  • You Know I’m Sawcy

    He’s pretty. Eventually I’ll have to get around to watching Queen Sugar because I hear good things about it. I’m always weary of dramas tho.

    • LadySiriboe

      Pretty. Woi. I bind you too!

  • grownandsexy2

    He was at the Essence Festival this year and had all the women screaming.

    • miss t-lee

      We all started screaming at the screen when I saw Girl’s Trip over the weekend…lol

      • grownandsexy2

        Hilarious wasn’t it?

        • miss t-lee

          YES.

    • PriceIsRightHorns

      The one year we decide not to go…

      • grownandsexy2
        • Michelle is my First Lady

          That is Lance Gross.

          • PriceIsRightHorns

            Jinx!

            • Michelle is my First Lady

              LOL! I was like, wait…

              • PriceIsRightHorns

                That second pic is very Aaron/Damion Hall circa 1990, LOL.

        • PriceIsRightHorns

          Isn’t that Lance Gross though? He aight, but no LOL.

          • grownandsexy2

            Got my people mixed up. lol

            • PriceIsRightHorns

              LOL. Are you going next year?

              • grownandsexy2

                If they have a good line up. We didn’t attend the concerts this year, just some of the events. How do I get rid of this pic? lol

                • PriceIsRightHorns

                  There is an arrow button to the right of the post that will allow you to delete it.

                  • grownandsexy2

                    Thanks. lol

                    • PriceIsRightHorns

                      Anytime sis!

                    • grownandsexy2

                      How about you, you going next year?

                    • PriceIsRightHorns

                      Yeah, we’re going to Essence and the Soul Beach Music Festival in Aruba.

                      If the lineup isn’t to our liking, we’ll hit Bourbon Street and make it do what it do.

  • Kat

    He cute…

  • Somebody’s gotta teach

    A dapper young man. I am simply in love with his beard. Its like melanin cotton candy.

    • miss t-lee

      I bet it’s sawfttt.

      • LadySiriboe

        It is.

        • Love Heals

          Er, um…it’s so sweet that he lets his sister/niece/ auntie/cousin(?) assist with his grooming.

          • LadySiriboe

            Flee!

            • Love Heals

              But please, Ma. I’m just trying to show respect to his relatives so I may be considered one of the suitable ladies he may court.

          • miss t-lee

            LMAO

  • Imma let the ladies have the comment section on this one. I hope Kofi does get that PUSH that talented young white actors often get that so rarely happens for talented young Black actors (Michael B Jordan coming along with Ryan Coogler is a great thing).

    • cysinblack

      We celebrate our own before they do. Unless that black actor stays away from black projects and socializes almost exclusively with whites for professional and personal reasons.

  • Alessandro De Medici

    Unrelated:

    For those who, um like to read their news, you should read the “full transcript” of Trump’s latest WSJ interview:

    http://www.politico.com/story/2017/08/01/trump-wall-street-journal-interview-full-transcript-241214

    • Brooklyn_Bruin

      *shots fired at video “news”*

      • LadySiriboe

        Mschew. Don’t mind this yeye people.

        • Alessandro De Medici

          Madam, why you dey vex now?

          • LadySiriboe

            Don’t talk to me oo. We are not on the same level. I’m heaven bound.

    • Hugh Akston

      Gonna have to come back to dis

      Lol

      • Tam

        Do you drink? You may need to imbibe something either to numb and block out what you just read or to understand.

        • Hugh Akston

          Was this from the onion news?

          I don’t think this is real

          And no I don’t drink

          • Tam

            If only it was from Onion news.Hmm ok

            • Hugh Akston

              I just can’t continue after this

              “BAKER: What about your disappointments? Any disappointments in the first six months?

              TRUMP: Well, I’d have to let you know. I have to see where we are with this. Let’s see. Maybe it doesn’t work, but I think it’s going to. And, you know, it is — it would have been easier to start with taxes, but this is better if it works, OK? If it works, this is better.”

              This is made up right? He didn’t actually say this…i know he’s an idiot but this?

              • Tam

                That’s why I asked if you drank. It makes little sense, it is as if you only prepared one topic for an exam and it didn’t come and you are determined to write about that one topic you knew whether or not it is relevant.

              • Tam

                Ok I found what I was looking for

                TRUMP: Well, Napoleon finished a little bit bad. But I asked that. So I asked the president, so what about Napoleon? He said: “No, no, no. What he did was incredible. He designed Paris.” [garbled] The street grid, the way they work, you know, the spokes. He did so many things even beyond. And his one problem is he didn’t go to Russia that night because he had extracurricular activities, and they froze to death. How many times has Russia been saved by the weather? [garbled]

                [crosstalk/unintelligible]

                TRUMP: Same thing happened to Hitler. Not for that reason, though. Hitler wanted to consolidate. He was all set to walk in. But he wanted to consolidate, and it went and dropped to 35 degrees below zero, and that was the end of that army.

                This was from the NYT interview

                • Hugh Akston

                  Speechless

                  • Tam

                    Why ? If you pay attention to him speak you realise he has a few talking pints but is all over

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