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Exclusive: RJ Cyler Talks New Movie 'Emergency' and the Traumas Young Black Men Face – Complex


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Staff Writer, Pop Culture. @ohkarli_
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Amazon Prime’s Emergency is not your average buddy comedy. The film follows two best friends, Sean (RJ Cyler) and Kunle (Donald Elise Watkins), and their friend Carlos (Sebastian Chacon) as they prepare for a legendary party tour during their college’s spring break. Sean has come up with a plan to make sure they hit up as many parties as possible in one night, but their festivities take a turn when they find a young white girl drunk and semi-conscious on their apartment floor with no explanation. 
While they are eager to help her, they hesitate to call the police out of fear that they will be suspected of wrongdoing simply because they are three young men of color. They’re all just months away from graduation and can’t afford to jeopardize their futures, like Kunle’s goal of going to Princeton. Instead of letting loose at the parties as planned, their new mission is to try to get the girl to a hospital without raising any suspicion. The characters together embark on a stressful adventure that makes them grapple with the realities of how society and the authorities view them, regardless of their intelligence, accomplishments, or their hearts, and their stories also provide necessary social commentary with a hint of humor. 
The satirical thriller was directed by Carey Williams and has already received rave reviews after debuting at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival and SXSW. Complex caught up with RJ Cyler—who previously appeared in Power Rangers, The Harder They Fall and will be starring in Issa Rae’s Rap Sh*t later this year—and discussed the trauma young Black men face when dealing with the police, performative activism, and the differences between his character Sean and his best friend Kunle. Check out our interview with the actor below and watch an exclusive clip of Emergency above before it premieres on Amazon Prime on Friday, May 27.
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