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Colman Domingo On Why He Avoided Watching The Original Candyman

Later this month, the spiritual successor to the 1992 horror film "Candyman" will debut exclusively in theaters. It stars Yaha Abdul-Mateen II, Teyonah Parris, Colman Domingo, and was written by Jordan Peele. The plot of the original movie revolves around an urban legend that saying the word "Candyman" several times in front of a mirror will summon a malevolent spirit. Once summoned, the spirit will haunt its summoner down until it kills them.

In the film, Domingo plays William Burke, a long-time resident of the Chicago projects where the original movie took place. He introduces the main protagonist Anthony (Abdul-Mateen II) to the urban legend, and then things start spiraling into madness. In the interview, when he was asked why he "tried to stay away from Candyman" for such a long time — the original movie, the franchise, and auditioning for the part — he quickly answered that he was a "big wuss," punctuating his answer with a hearty laugh. The interview followed up, asking whether or not Domingo has ever "tried to say 'Candyman' five times in the mirror?"

"Absolutely not! And I never will," Domingo fired back. His answer may seem a little superstitious to some. But then again, you can never be too careful, right? Based on the conviction in his statement, it seems safe to say that this talented actor is one person who will never be the victim of this particular urban legend.

Domingo and Peele had a serious conversation about 'Candyman' and race

But that was just the lighter side of Domingo's answer to that series of questions. He also offered up a more serious answer. "Like one of the characters in 'Candyman' says, 'black people shouldn't invoke things.' We're already under enough distress and trauma just making it day-to-day in this world. We shouldn't invoke even more. That's why I stayed away from it — and because I'm a big wuss."

In that same interview, Domingo admitted that he discussed the subject of that aforementioned distress at length with "Candyman" screenwriter Jordan Peele. As many people know, this is not Peele's first rodeo when it comes to incorporating racial anxiety as a central theme in his films. The smash hit "Get Out" follows a dark trajectory as the subtle horrors of casual racism rapidly devolve into a white supremacist, body horror nightmare. Peele's 2019 follow-up, "Us," is similarly an allegory for the tribalistic "us vs. them" mentality which has been a catalyst for hostile race relations in this country since the abolition of slavery. 

Based on Domingo's interview, it's almost guaranteed that audiences will get more of the same in "Candyman."