Leslie Odom Jr. is involved with many on-screen project right now, however the ongoing project for him is activism. Even back in his Hamilton on Broadway days, Odom was dedicating his final performance to gun violence.
What does he have to say about the current events and state of the Black Lives Matter protests today? Odom was on-air with Elvis Duran and the Morning Show Wednesday, June 10th, and said, “When I look at what’s happening in the streets, I have so much hope when i look at people taking to the streets civilly and uncivilly. The conversation has progressed in my lifetime in a way that I didn’t think it would. It starts with being honest of where and what we’ve been living through.... White people have not been willing to be honest and for the first time you’re seeing they are."
From his beginning activism to now, Odom talks about not seeing just one color in the streets protesting anymore. "In the streets we see it’s not just black people that are out there. When it started with Ferguson we saw mostly black people... Now there’s a coalition out in the streets demanding change. I think there’s a conversation happening, white people talking to white people specifically, black people talking to black people…. there are several conversations that they are having in the public space, on zoom, Twitter, Instagram, so we’re able to witness these vulnerable conversations. There are people talking about trauma and personal experiences that they’ve never talked about before. I really hope there’s mental health professionals on the front line of this thing, because we’re just at the beginning of something."
Most recently, Odom was in the news for being a part of a group of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) theatre makers that published a letter to "White American Theater" addressing racism in the industry and demanding change. "I am certainly resisting the call for any kind of quick fix any kind of quick answers for it. We’re not going to pretend that this is not happening anymore." As far as even seeing a return to Broadway Odom says, "I hope they figure it out as soon as possible, because live performance i mean has been such a pillar in my life." Although he has been able to take part in virtual performances.
Odom has many upcoming projects including a show 'Central Park' coming out on Apple TV+ May 29th. From the creators of 'Bob's Burger's' comes an animated musical show. Odom plays the character Owen, who is a park ranger in Central Park. Him and his family live in the park and his goal is to protect the 'oasis in the concrete jungle.'
Odom is also in a movie coming to IMAX August 22nd that was actually written and directed from Sia. "Sia had a dream of directing an original musical and this is the one she wanted to tell." He continues jokingly saying "It was maybe the weirdest thing I have ever worked on." He goes on to explain the story of the movie saying it's about someone on the autistic spectrum and how she sees the world differently.
All of this and more in Leslie Odom Jr's interview with Elvis Duran! Watch the interview above!