It would be understandable if Brian Tyree Henry were enjoying himself. The actor has earned well-deserved accolades for his portrayal of trapper-turned-rapper Paper Boi in Donald Glover's beloved FX series Atlanta. But much like the character he plays on screen, Henry's having trouble adjusting to his new life.
In an interview with GQ, Henry revealed that he has trouble feeling happy about his wins because he lost his mother and two best friends over the last several years.
"What kills me is everyone's like, ‘How do you feel about this Emmy nomination?’” he said. “My mother's dead. Every time I close my eyes, I see my hand on her casket. Every time I close my eyes, I hear my necklace bang on her casket. That's the last time I saw her. That's the only thing that gets me out of bed, and it's sometimes the thing that keeps me in it. So being busy helps, but y'all don't understand. If she's not here to see it, I don't really get a chance to rejoice in it. You know what I mean?"
While Henry has been able to take some solace in his newfound fame, he wishes that he could share it with his mother, who died in a car accident.
"I like to believe that all these blessings are them. But it would be really nice to look to my left and see my mother sitting there when they call my name. You know? And I'm being real fucking real with you. It's hard to do this stuff. It's just like she died yesterday, man. I haven't even looked at a photograph of my mom since she died. I can't look at her. And yet people are still celebrating and lauding this thing that I did about my mom. When, at the end of the day, I can't really rejoice in what I did, because I'm still in pain.”
Henry's not just wallowing, however. He told the magazine that he's found a bit of a new family in the cast of Atlanta.
“I would fucking kill for those people. I love them," he said. "I love them, man. It's very rare. I wonder if the Friends cast felt this shit. I wonder if the Seinfeld cast felt this shit. I wonder if the Living Single cast felt this shit. These three human beings exceed any expectation that I could ever expect of what love is.”
Take a look at the whole interview over at GQ.