Breaking News
More () »

How the cast of 'Judas and the Black Messiah' gave back to Cleveland

Most of the movie was filmed in the city.

CLEVELAND — "Judas and the Black Messiah," a movie adapted from a screenplay written by King and Will Berson and based on the story of the betrayal of Chicago Black Panther Fred Hampton in the late 1960s, is now out in theaters and streaming on HBO Max.

A majority of the film was shot in Cleveland in 2019, and stars actors li"ke Lakeith Stanfield of FX's "Atlanta," Daniel Kaluuya from "Get Out" and Black Panther," and Jesse Plemons of "Breaking Bad." It also gave so many budding Cleveland actors a chance to stay in such a large film.

The cast and crew took in they city as they filmed, so much so that they also took time to give back. A majority of them stopped by the Boys and Girls Club of Northeast Ohio.

They mostly hung out with the kids for the day, and participated in a panel discussion on what the movie can teach people, but the coolest part of the day was what came after.

"I haven't been around that many kids in that age range, particularly Black and brown kids," Charlese Antoinette, the movie's costume designer, said. "To see them light up and be excited about my work, it was a really pivotal moment. It honestly changed me, not going to lie."

Antoinette was a part of the day, and when it was over, she sat down for brunch with the cast in downtown Cleveland, the impact the kids had on her still sitting top of mind.

"I called Joseph [Greathouse II, director of the Broadway Avenue branch of the Boys and Girls Club] and said, 'Would these kids need sewing machines?'"

After a few calls, Antoinette was able to deliver more than 10 sewing machines and lots of other sewing and clothing design items. They will benefit the club's Design-U program, which has grown in popularity recently.

Antoinette says she still checks in with the club to see how the kids are taking to the machines. For Greathouse, it's not just sewing equipment; it's an experience and a connection that makes a lasting impression on the kids.

"Representation is everything," he said. So on that top of that, you can couple that with the fact that the kids who are going to see this film got to meet the people who designed everything that we're wearing, its just priceless."

To learn more about the Boys and Girls Club of Northeast Ohio, click here. You can watch the trailer for "Judas and the Black Messiah" in the player below:

Before You Leave, Check This Out