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The SAG ensemble nominee, unjustly ignored by Oscar, talks to EW about finding the soul of a damaged Vietnam vet.

By Clarissa Cruz
March 29, 2021 at 12:07 PM EDT
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Spike Lee's Da 5 Bloods is a true ensemble showcase (fittingly, nominated for the SAG Awards' best ensemble cast), following a group of Vietnam vets as they journey back to their former war zone. Delroy Lindo, 68, who plays the PTSD-suffering Paul, gave a particularly searing performance that (wrongly) didn't quite make the Oscar cut, but won several awards along the way. In EW's latest Awardist interview, the actor reveals how he and his castmates got into the groove.

Prep School

"I looked at Ken Burns' film [The Vietnam War], and The Anderson Platoon, [about an] African American leader of a platoon in Vietnam. Spike brought in a couple vets to speak with us. Most vets, they don't talk about their experiences with civilians. So the fact that all of this information was being shared with me, I did not take lightly."

DA 5 BLOODS
Delroy Lindo in 'Da 5 Bloods'
| Credit: DAVID LEE/NETFLIX

On Motivation

"[Paul] volunteered three tours. And there's a depth of betrayal and abandonment that [he feels]. Not only the loss of [his] wife in childbirth, the loss of [his] son having to do with the fact that they are deeply at odds with each other. So there is loss, betrayal, and abandonment."

Contemporary History

"Obviously there was no way we could have anticipated the events of this past year. However, it does speak to the fact that Spike Lee as a filmmaker elects not only to present certain stories, but elects to present those stories in a certain style, in a certain way. With Da 5 Bloods, [it was] profoundly and tragically fortuitous it landed when it landed."

Watch Lindo's Awardist conversation above, or listen to it in full below.

Check out more from EW's The Awardist, featuring exclusive interviews, analysis, and our podcast diving into all the highlights from the year's best films.

Related content:

Da 5 Bloods (2020 movie)

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  • Spike Lee

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