Leslie Odom Jr.'s career has been heading for the stratosphere in recent years. After being cast as Aaron Burr in Lin-Manuel Miranda's Hamilton, the accomplished actor won a Tony Award for his work. When the play made its way to Disney+ the world got to see just how impressive he was. Since then he's been nominated for an Academy Award for his work in One Night in Miami and most recently he's joined the increasingly impressive cast of Rian Johnson's Knives Out sequel. Odom's star has only continued to rise, though interestingly, he continues to be part of strong ensembles rather than getting a breakout role for himself.
It seems that's more by design than happenstance. Leslie Odom Jr. recently told EW that he's well aware that so much of his recent great work is as part of ensemble productions. The actor says that at this point he's not really looking to be the star and is quite happy doing his part to contribute to the success of the team. According to Odom...
I have grown used to doing my best to be a useful member of a killer ensemble, pardon the pun. I’m maybe getting known for that, and I’m not necessarily the guy, at this point, who wants to take it all on his shoulders.
Leslie Odom Jr. may have have been the one to win the Tony Award for Hamilton but that musical won many other awards because of the combined work of a number of performers on the stage, as well as the design team and crew. Leslie Odom Jr. made his feature film debut in Redtails, a movie about the Tuskegee Airmen, where he played one of several pilots. He also recently appeared in Kenneth Branagh's Murder on the Orient Express, a film that is, much like the Knives Out sequel, a whodunit with an incredibly impressive cast.
But of all the ensembles that Leslie Odom Jr. has been a part of, it sounds like Knives Out 2 (or whatever it ends up being called) might be his favorite so far. He sings the praises of many of his upcoming co-stars. Some of them he's worked with before, others he's excited to work with for the first time. Odom explains...
It’s a return to work for me with me and Janelle, [and] Kate and I have worked together before. Dave Bautista, I’m a huge fan of. Ed Norton, I’m excited to work with. I’m just a huge fan of that guy’s process. He’s just turned in some of my favorite performances over the years. He’s a real acting savant. And then obviously, Daniel, who’s a legend. I’m going to try not to make fool of myself. I’m going to show up and take notes, and learn all I can.
It seems unlikely that Leslie Odom Jr. will make a fool of himself. If anything, i would wager a few of these actors will be just as eager to work with him and will try to learn a thing or two themselves.