Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Why Paul From Da 5 Bloods Looks So Familiar

Spike Lee has always known how to make films that have a lot to say, and Da 5 Bloods is no exception. The brand new Netflix original takes elements of heist flicks and war movies and adds in a heaping helping of social commentary on different levels and time periods. Then, instead of throwing all the ingredients in a blender like a lesser auteur might be tempted to do, Lee weaves it all into a carefully crafted masterpiece that is guaranteed to leave you both entertained and thinking. 

The movie follows the titular "Bloods," a group of Vietnam War vets on a quest to return to the country for two reasons: They wish to honor their dead squad leader and fifth member, and also aim to retrieve a valuable treasure. It's an ensemble piece by design, but the ostensible main character is Paul, a troubled, PTSD-afflicted man whose health is failing, who supports Donald Trump, and who secretly blames himself for his superior officer's death all those years ago. It's a powerful role, and the actor playing it gives his equally powerful best. If he looks like you've seen him before, here's why Paul from Da 5 Bloods looks so familiar.

Delroy Lindo has worked with Spike Lee before

The actor in question's name is Delroy Lindo, and at this point, we'd be more surprised if you've managed to miss him. As TV Guide tells us, the prolific performer is originally from London, and discovered acting at just five years old after featuring in a Nativity play. While his film résumé from the 1970s and 1980s might seem like a trudge through bit parts of the "Army Sergeant," "Truck Driver," and "Drug Kingpin" variety, that's mostly because he was focusing on theater. Lindo debuted on Broadway in 1982, and was even nominated for a Tony award in 1988. 

As the 1980s gave way to the 1990s, Lindo started gravitating toward movies in a big way. One of his first prominent movie roles was, incidentally, his first collaboration with Spike Lee. In 1992's Malcolm X, the actor portrayed West Indian Archie, a Harlem gangster who spends some time running a numbers racket with the man born as Malcolm Little (Denzel Washington).  Lindo and Lee have since collaborated several times, and the actor has appeared in Spike Lee joints Crooklyn, Clockers, and, of course, Da 5 Bloods. 

Lindo told the New York Times that he and Lee almost joined forces even earlier than 1992. The director wanted him to read for a role of one of the three "corner men" (Frankie Faison, Paul Benjamin and Robin Harris) in Do The Right Thing (1989), but Lindo turned the opportunity down because he didn't feel that it was right for him. 

Delroy Lindo fought the Good Fight

Delroy Lindo's TV roles are many, but his most recent, and longest-running, one is arguably also his best known. We're talking, of course, about Adrian Boseman, his attorney character in The Good Fight. The CBS All Access show is a spin-off of the popular The Good Wife, and features fan-favorite character Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski), who falls victim to a financial scam and starts rebuilding her life by joining a famous law office in Chicago. Lindo's Boseman is a name partner at said firm, and the guy who offers Diane the job in the first place. 

Lindo, of course, excelled in the role, which brought him several award nominations during his four years with the show. All good things come to an end, however, and in February 2020, Deadline reported that Lindo's contract with the show came to an end after season 4. Though he has liked his time on The Good Fight, it appears that he wishes to pursue other projects. Still, never say never — the show is not exactly locking its door after Lindo exits, so the actor may very well still return to fight The Good Fight somewhere down the line, in some capacity, should the stars align. 

Delroy Lindo's little-known gem

Delroy Lindo's been in a great many movies and played a whole host of juicy roles, but there's a chance you might not have heard about one of his personal favorites. In an interview with The A.V. Club, we learn that Lindo values his role in the 1996 TV movie Soul of the Game extremely highly. In fact, he's so happy about it, he uses the term "blessed."  

Of course, this is somewhat understandable when you learn that the role in question is that of none other than legendary baseball pitcher Satchel Paige. As ESPN tells us, the charismatic Paige played his way from the Negro League to the major leagues, joining Cleveland Indians in 1948 as the American League's first black pitcher ever at the tender young age of 42. Despite the huge outrage this caused, he went on to win the pennant with the Indians ... and was still pitching in the major leagues at the age of 59. Yeah, we can see why Lindo loved to sink his teeth into that role.  

Delroy Lindo is a thriller and action movie mainstay

Lindo's considerable acting chops lend him a gravitas that works well in all sorts of roles, and he hasn't limited himself to high-concept stuff. In fact, he has spent a considerable chunk of his career doing all kinds of action movies. One of his first forays in the genre was the 1989 post-apocalyptic Rutger Hauer movie The Blood of Heroes, in which he played Mbulu, Hauer's teammate in a futuristic and fatal sport. 

Lindo went on to play an array of authority figures and villains in movies like Ransom, Broken Arrow, Domino, and the Jet Li vehicles Romeo Must Die and The One. Arguably his definitive role in the action genre, however, came in 2000, when he portrayed Detective Roland Castlebeck in Gone in 60 Seconds. Lindo's self-assured presence and easy chemistry with Nicolas Cage's main character, car thief Memphis Raines, made their scenes together some of the movie's most enjoyable ones ... which is saying something in a movie that is filled to the brim with exciting and elaborate action scenes. Such is the magic of Delroy Lindo. 

Da 5 Bloods is currently available for streaming on Netflix.