Actor, playwright and director Colman Domingo has had a long career on screen and on stage. His roles span the series “Fear the Walking Dead” and “Euphoria,” to the films “Selma” and “If Beale Street Could Talk,” to “The Scottsboro Boys” and “Passing Strange” in theater. In the new Oscar-nominated film adaptation of “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” Domingo plays the blues singer’s bandleader. On Thursday April 1 at 12:30pm ET, Washington Post opinions writer Jonathan Capehart spoke with Domingo about Rainey’s story, his own wide-ranging career and how art can give voice to issues around racial injustice.

Highlights

Actor Colman Domingo says “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” is relevant today to understanding race in America. “I didn’t know Ma Rainey was going to be such a gift when it comes to a conversation about race because we shot it two years ago.” (Washington Post Live)
Actor Colman Domingo says he didn’t know what Chadwick Boseman was going through when they filmed “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” The film was Boseman’s last on-screen performance before his death from cancer last year. “What I saw was a man with an incredible work ethic, and he was funny, silly. We laughed a lot…He was so immersed in the work, learning his instrument and creating.” (Washington Post Live)
Actor Colman Domingo says he encourages everyone to read the works of African American authors like James Baldwin and August Wilson. “They’re not just for Black folks. They’re for all of us, for Americans. Anyone who loves America; it’s for you because we need to know each other and that’s the only way we’re going to get better and stronger and more loving, more peaceful.” (Washington Post Live)
When asked his thoughts on the death of George Floyd and the trial of Derek Chauvin, actor Colman Domingo said, “I understand due process like anyone else, but I almost don’t understand this trial to be very honest. Because we all saw it. We all bore witness to this…What we saw was a murder, plain and simple.” (Washington Post Live)

Colman Domingo

A Newport Beach Film Festival’s Artist of Distinction award recipient, Colman Domingo is a Tony®, Independent Spirit, Lawrence Olivier, Drama Desk, Drama League, NAACP Image and Black Reel Award nominated, OBIE and Lucille Lortel Award winning actor, playwright and director.

Domingo was last seen alongside Viola Davis and the late Chadwick Boseman in the Netflix film adaption of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom produced by Denzel Washington. He has been nomined for Independent Spirit and NAACP Image Awards for this role. In April 2021, he will be seen in “Without Remorse” with Michael B. Jordan. Also this Spring he will be seen in God Committee with Julia Stiles and Kelsey Grammar. In June 2021, he will be seen in A24’s Zola with Taylour Paige and Riley Keough, followed by Universal’s remake Candyman opposite Yahya Abdul Mateen II in August 2021.

On the small screen, Domingo can currently be seen in the new season of AMC’s “Fear The Walking Dead” as Victor Strand. He has also created 3 seasons of “Bottomless Brunch at Colman’s” AMC.COM. This December, he returned to HBO’s “Euphoria” for a “Special Christmas” episode. In 2018, Domingo was a recipient of The Best Drama Actor from The 2018 Independent Television Festival presented by the Television Academy® in “Nothingman” directed by Eli Kooris and Joshua Shaffer and is also a recipient of the Sundance Feature Film Program Grant. Additional credits include: “The Twilight Zone” (2020), “The Knick and Lucifer.” He has voiced characters in “America Dad” and “BoJack Horseman.”

His film credits include: Barry Jenkins’ If Beale Street Could Talk, Assassination Nation, First Match, Lucy in the Sky, Selma as Reverend Ralph Abernathy, Lee Daniels' The Butler, Lincoln directed by Steven Spielberg, three films directed by Spike Lee, including Miracle At St. Ana, Red Hook Summer and Passing Strange, Freedomland directed by Joe Roth, True Crime directed by Clint Eastwood, and The Birth of a Nation.

On Stage, Domingo starred in The Scottsboro Boys, winning The London Evening Standard Award at the Young Vic. He is well known for his star turns as Mr. Franklin and a German performance artist, Mr. Venus of Berlin, in the Tony and Drama Desk Award winning groundbreaking musical Passing Strange directed by Annie Dorsen on Broadway and documented on film by Spike Lee.

In 2020, The Vineyard and Domingo presented the first “The Colman Domingo Award”. This award will be presented annually to a multifaceted Black male or male-identifying theatre artist to provide support and resources to develop new work. The Vineyard and Domingo select the recipients, who receive a cash stipend, workshops, developmental opportunities, access to writing and studio space, mentorship, and the ongoing support of the company.

Domingo has starred in the first ever screen adaptation of a Ralph Ellison story for PBS, King of the Bingo Game. His hit Broadway musical Summer: The Donna Summer Musical was honored with two Tony® Award nominations as well as Drama Desk and Drama League which kicked off its National Tour in Fall of 2019. Domingo and nationally acclaimed theatre-maker Patricia McGregor co-authored the critically acclaimed, sold out, and Barrymore Award for Excellence in Theater nominated production of Lights Out: Nat "King" Cole musical that had its world premiere at People's Light Theatre in October 2017, and premiered on the West Coast at the Geffen Playhouse in February 2019, starring Dulé Hill.

As a 20-year veteran theatre director, Domingo recently helmed the critically acclaimed IRNE award nominated (Best Direction of a Play) Huntington Theatre’s world premiere of A Guide For The Homesick by Ken Urban in fall of 2017. Domingo also staged Claire Kiechel’s Pilgrims for the Lark. His NAACP award nominated (Best Direction) and StageSceneLA celebrated (Outstanding Comedy Direction and Outstanding Production of a play) production of Barbecue closed to sold out houses at the Geffen Playhouse. Colman helmed the Off-Broadway Alliance Best Family Musical Award-winning production of A Band of Angels and staged August Wilson’s Seven Guitars for Actors Theater of Louisville. He also helmed the Off-Broadway productions of Exit Cuckoo for The Working Theater and Single Black Female for the New Professional Theater. He has directed for Berkeley Rep as well as Lincoln Center Director’s Lab. Colman has received residencies and/or commissions from The Geffen Playhouse, American Conservatory Theater, People’s Light & Theatre Company, New York Theater Workshop, Scott Rudin Productions, Jeffrey Sellar, The Wallace Foundation, San Francisco Cash Fund, New Professional Theater and the March of Dimes.