Star of HBO Max's The Flight Attendant Says His Character Taught Him to Be Loud, Queer and Excellent
Someone who is catchy, passionate, fun and full of life is who Griffin Matthews is. The Dear White People star is now on HBO Max's latest TV show The Flight Attendant and he shows no signs of not continuing to be who he is and the actor and accidental activist he chooses to be. With this new show now streaming, Griffin is honored to be a part of a cast that pushes boundaries, misbehaves and in his words "entertains the hell out of us!" Not only is Griffin a successful multi-hyphenate actor, but he is a husband, a father and someone who pushes the narrative about the beautiful complexities of Black men.
Who is Griffin Matthews? What is your purpose in this industry?
I’m a husband, a father, a multi-hyphenate actor, writer, director and an accidental activist. When you push the boundaries it’s very difficult to feel like you’re a part of the “in-crowd.” I rarely feel “in.” I mostly feel like I’m pushing boulders up hills. Fighting to be seen. Fighting to be heard. Fighting for a seat at the table and cutting my hands up trying to build my own. But when I have succeeded in getting a foot in the door, I feel like my purpose is to push the narrative about the beautiful complexities of black men. We are soft. We are loving. We are queer. We are fem. We are fathers and husbands. Skinny and thick. We are intelligent. We are everything!
How does it feel to be a part of The Flight Attendant? How has your role in Dear White People prepared you for this role?
No one could’ve known that our show would premiere in the middle of a global pandemic. It’s proven to be such a gift because everyone is home and no one can travel. So people are desperate to escape the monotony of their lives (myself included)! The Flight Attendant is right here, ready for your escape. I feel so lucky to be a part of the HBO Max family. We’re pushing boundaries, misbehaving and hopefully entertaining the hell out of you. Playing D’Unte on the 3rd season of Dear White People changed my life and career. That character allowed me to be big onscreen. I couldn’t shrink when I stepped on set. I had to take risks and I had to say controversial things. I wore risqué clothes. D’Unte never apologized for being loud, queer and excellent. He taught me to be loud, queer, and excellent, onscreen and off.
Tell me more about your role as Shane on the show The Flight Attendant?
Shane is best friends with Cassie (played by Kaley Cuoco). They are part of the first-class cabin crew for an international airline. Cassie is a mess. On a trip to Bangkok, she gets blackout drunk and wakes up in the wrong hotel, in the wrong bed, next to a brutally murdered dead man. Shane unknowingly gets dragged into the murder mystery. But wait... because Shane has secrets, too.
What more can we expect from Griffin Matthews?
I’m developing a musical television series with Ester Dean (songwriter of Katy Perry’s “Firework”), and I’m also excited to direct my first film called The Amish Project. It’s an unexpected story about an unexplored community, and that’s why I love it. Black creatives want to tell stories beyond the Black experience. We want to tackle all of humanity.
Follow Griffin Matthews on Instagram.