Acting mainstay Jeffrey Wright jumps between mainstream and indie productions like it’s his job. In fact, it is: Wright’s résumé includes Broadway (Angels in America), TV (Westworld) and film with a rich 2018 in Friday’s Child, O.G., Hold the Dark and The Goldfinch. His latest turn as Mr. Harmon in Sundance-hit Monster is as touching as any. Father to an incarcerated teenage son, Wright plays the role with a balance of sympathy and fear. He hopes his performance will reach other Black parents, whose own teenage children have the odds stacked against them. One such youth in Monster is played by Rakim Mayers—better known by his rap moniker A$AP Rocky—who can act as naturally as he drops #1 albums. Rocky’s filmic appearances mirror his work in music and fashion: offbeat trendsetting. When it comes to onscreen roles, however, the Harlem-born hypehenate is picky. Besides Monster this year, his only other major credit was the indie-hit Dope (2015). Although he rarely gets political in his music, Rocky chooses films with a racial message. In Monster Rocky plays Harlem ne’er-do-well William King. Troubled characters are his forte; Playing close to his own reality is a form of indirect activism. We caught up with a very cozy Rocky on the red carpet before his premiere.