LaKeith Stanfield says he has anxiety stemming from ‘The Harder They Fall’ filming

Stanfield said he was suffering silently in a vulnerable social media post

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LaKeith Stanfield recently opened up about the mental health issues he faced while filming The Harder They Fall.

In an Instagram post on Thursday, the 30-year-old actor said that he experienced “crippling anxiety,” and drank every night after work while filming for the western-themed Netflix movie.

Stanfield played Cherokee Bill, an outlaw and member of the Rufus Buck Gang. The group, made up of Black and Native American men who go on crime sprees, is led by the film’s antagonist, Rufus Buck, who was played by Idris Elba.

The Atlanta star recalled that during this tough time, a horse he named “Magnolia” bucked at him, changing his perspective in a positive direction.

“In that moment i heard him loud and clearly,” he explained about the incident. “BE STRONG OR GET OFF. I took control of the reigns and eventually we bonded so much so that it was emotional for me to leave the farm once i wrapped.”

The movie, which also features acting heavyweights like Regina King, Stanfield’s Atlanta castmate Zazie Beets and Lovecraft County’s Jonathan Majors, premiered on Netflix on October 22, 2021.

The actor, who made his debut in 2013 in the film Short Term, has skyrocketed to fame following his performances in acclaimed films like Selma, Straight Out of Compton and Jordan Peele’s racial-horror movie Get Out.

Lakeith Stanfield - theGrio.com
Lakeith Stanfield attends the Audi pre-Emmy celebration at Sunset Tower in Hollywood on Thursday, September 19, 2019. (Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for Audi)

While Stanfield has made headlines for his roles, he has also made news for his struggles with mental health which he has shared on his social media platforms.

In 2020, the actor posted a series of troubling Instagram posts featuring pictures of pills, alcohol and a concerning caption that read, “I like to be by myself because I can hurt myself and no one tells me stop or fakes like they care.”

Although Stanfield reassured fans that he was okay and many people that he worked with him checked in on him, he would go on to have more public episodes.

In 2021, Stanfield spoke about panic attacks he suffered while filming for Judas and the Black Messiah.

“Sometimes your body thinks that’s real,” he said about a cut scene where his character, Judas, was mixing poison to kill Fred Hampton, played by Daniel Kaluuya. “With somebody like Daniel, who I just respect as a human and an artist, as Fred Hampton, it felt like I was actually poisoning Chairman Fred Hampton.”

Stanfield said that going to therapy helped him unpack his anxiety from the scene and gave him the tools to approach overwhelming situations like that again.

“It helps you unlock things about yourself, ” he added. “It’s not even necessarily about the person that you’re doing therapy with, but like you said, perspectives and strategies and tools that you didn’t have access to before.”

The actor ended his Instagram post by stating that he is celebrating almost 6-months sober and is continuing his journey to better health.

“Here’s to fighting through the trauma to get to myself,” he concluded. “Here’s to the fact that the bigger the goal God has for them, the taller they stand and, The Harder They Fall.”

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