Brian Tyree Henry has had a meteoric and well-deserved rise to fame, with the masses learning of his talents through his most recognizable role as "Paper Boi" in the FX original series Atlanta.
As a result of his performance, the actor received a 2018 Primetime Emmy Award nomination, which stands as the holy grail of achievements among the television community. Despite this accolade, however, Henry recently shared that there is one heartbreaking reason why he finds it a daily struggle to enjoy his newfound commercial success.
In a recent feature in GQ Magazine, the Morehouse College alum shared that the sudden loss of his mother and several others close to him has made it almost impossible for him to genuinely and unselfishly revel in the moment.
"What kills me is everyone's like, 'How do you feel about this Emmy nomination?'" he said. "My mother's dead. Every time I close my eyes, I see my hand on her casket. Every time I close my eyes, I hear my necklace bang on her casket. That's the last time I saw her."
Elaborating on how the traumatic experience affected his mental health, Henry added, "That's the only thing that gets me out of bed, and it's sometimes the thing that keeps me in it."
The pain in his explanation only intensified the more he expounded, seeing him open up about more close losses.
"So being busy helps, but y'all don't understand," he continued. "If she's not here to see it, I don't really get a chance to rejoice in it. You know what I mean? I've buried a person every year for three years. I lost my best friend to cancer; then I lost my other best friend the next year to lupus. And I lost my mom to a f*****g car accident. She wasn't even sick. She died in the most awful f*****g way."
Showcasing his bravery and will to fight through his trials, the actor, who also stars in the forthcoming Widows, shared that he tries to use those otherwise scarring experiences as motivation to keep going.
"I still have to survive. I like to believe that all these blessings are them," he said. "But it would be really nice to to look to my left and see my mother sitting there when they call my name. You know? And I'm being real f****g real with you. It's hard to do this stuff. It's just like she died yesterday, man. I haven't even looked at a photograph of my mom since she died. I can't look at her."
He ended the heart-wrenching account on his mother's passing with these words: "People are still celebrating and lauding this thing that I did about my mom. When, at the end of the day, I can't really rejoice in what I did, because I'm still in pain."
The actor's openness and transparency is sure to serve as inspiration and a source of meaning for others who may share a similar experience. Kudos to him for his honesty.
(Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)