Amandla Stenberg heard the news of Donald Trump‘s presidency from a shocking source.
The 18-year-old actress is gracing the cover of Teen Vogue‘s Icons Issue. And in the story, she opened to Janelle Monáe about her experiences with racism in and out of Hollywood.
Stenberg was on set of her upcoming movie Where Hands Touch — where she plays a biracial girl growing up during the Holocaust — the night of the election.
“An actor playing a Nazi soldier took out his phone to refresh the news and announced that Trump was president,” Stenberg told Monáe. “I was actually seeing this come out of the mouth out of an actor dressed in a Nazi uniform.”
“Immediately, I excused myself because I felt like I couldn’t breathe anymore,” she added. “I started sobbing. It was shocking. It made me really question how we could reach a point where our country is so divided.”
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Stenberg recounted how the director of the film, Amma Asante, found her on set and offered words of comfort — telling Stenberg that “progress is like a coil you have to go down in order to circle back up again. That’s how it’s worked throughout history. That’s how it will continue to work.”
The Hunger Games actress also opened up about getting rid of her iPhone to make sure she’s in the right mental state.
“Amid all of the chaos in the world right now, it’s so important that everyone actively works to preserve their mental health so that we’re able to heal and create change,” Stenberg said. “I got rid of my iPhone, and that was essential in preserving my mental health. Now I have a flip phone that I just use to talk to people and hear their actual voices.”