Brian Tyree Henry (‘Atlanta’) on giving the people what they want as Paper Boi [WATCH]

“I think that there are a lot of stories that weren’t really told that reflected a lot of us, and we really wanted to have a show that did,” said Brian Tyree Henry when he talked to Gold Derby’s Zach Laws last November to discuss his role as rapper Alfred “Paper Boi” Miles in FX’s breakout hit comedy series “Atlanta” (watch that chat above). “They say, ‘give the people what they want,’ and I think that the people wanted this.”

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That definitely appears to be the case if the recent fall and winter awards season is any indication. “Atlanta” won Best Comedy Series at the Golden Globes, Producers Guild Awards and Writers Guild Awards, and creator/star Donald Glover was awarded Best Comedy Actor at the Globes and Critics’ Choice Awards. Now the critically acclaimed series enters its first Emmy cycle in the hopes of achieving just as much success.

According to Henry, his character Paper Boi “has one of the biggest hearts of anybody that I’ve ever seen. He’s been a person that’s gone around most of his life with all these different stigmas and stereotypes put on him, and all he is is just a dude that wants to get up and make a living and survive, whatever that means.” And the show as a whole is universally relatable because its characters have widely held desires and challenges: “How do we get by with these things in the world that are constantly telling us, ‘No,’ and these dreams are not approachable? What happens, and what are the shenanigans that happen while we’re on our way to our dreams?”

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