André Holland on portraying Huey P. Newton for ‘The Big Cigar’

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Elvis Mitchell and André Holland at KCRW. Photo credit: Rebecca Mooney.

Actor André Holland excels at playing complicated characters whose calm exteriors mask inner turmoil. He’s played critical roles in acclaimed projects including Moonlight, Passing, and Cinemax TV series The Knick where he portrayed Dr. Algernon Edwards, a Black surgeon at the turn of the 20th century struggling to earn the respect of the white staff at the Knickerbocker Hospital. He also starred in a 2018 production of Othello opposite Mark Rylance at Shakespeare’s Globe in London. 

He can currently be seen as Black Panther Party leader Huey P. Newton in the Apple TV+ series The Big Cigar. Holland tells The Treatment about Newton’s ability to connect with an audience. He talks about Newton’s complicated relationship to Hollywood and his own similarly mixed feelings. Plus, he shares some of the unlikely similarities he found between Newton and Othello.




Rebecca Mooney