The new film American Fiction touches on an array of things — race in America, family drama, personal and professional satisfaction. Jeffrey Wright stars as an author who makes a morally compromising choice with his work, and also a man dealing with the declining health of his mother.

The Critics Choice and Golden Globe-nominated film expands into theaters nationwide December 22, and Wright tells ABC Audio he wanted to take on the role because he felt a strong connection to his character’s personal journey.

The things that “struck an emotional cord” between Wright and his character, Monk, include “his being a man who has reached that point in his life where all of a sudden his family turns to him at once and asks him to be the adult in the room,” he says.

He also finds it interesting “When [Monk] is tasked with being caretaker to she who was his caretaker.”

“I knew that well,” he adds.

Sterling K. Brown, who plays Monk’s surgeon brother, says he too, finds the film relatable. 

“I think across the board in this film, I saw Black people who were allowed to be people. They did not have to be noble or they did not have to be ignoble,” Brown says. “They got a chance to be all of what humanity allows itself to be expressed as. And that’s not something that we see all the time with every character and with so many of them looking like me.”

Brown notes joining the film, which satirically explores Black stereotypes in America, was a no brainer. 

“I think [comedy] was the spoonful of sugar that helped sort of, the medicine go down in terms of pointing out to Hollywood the narrowness of the stories that they’ve allowed us to tell,” he says.

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