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Jeymes Samuel Celebrates the ‘Original Storytelling’ of ‘The Book of Clarence’

The Jeymes Samuel-directed The Book of Clarence hits theaters on Friday (Jan. 12), and to celebrate his newest film, the star sat down with Billboard‘s Gail Mitchell to discuss the movie.

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“I think for me, ‘epic’ and ‘bold’ are two of the words that define cinema. When every other movie is a superhero movie […] it’s really quite rare that we get original storytelling in the cinematic experience,” he shared. “I love cinema, I love film, I love music, I love originality. Who better to combine those things than moi?”

Samuel’s reimagined take on Hollywood’s classic Biblical epics stars LaKeith Stansfield as the streetwise Clarence, a man who is struggling to make a better life for himself and his family. Inspired by the rising power and glory of the Messiah and his disciples, Clarence stakes his own claim to a similar life as he embarks on a journey that encompasses risks as well as redemption and faith.

The film’s soundtrack was spearheaded by Samuel’s longtime friend Jay-Z and his entertainment company, Roc Nation. “We speak every single day,” the British filmmaker said of Jay’s involvement in the film. “It’s not like we create together. He’s a floor to the ceiling creator and I’m a floor to the ceiling creator. We’re just having conversation, laughing our heads off, having fun and at the end of it, these classics are made.”

He continued, “We’re always collaborating. I don’t know when it begins and when it ends, because we’re natural born creators.”

Watch Billboard‘s full interview with Jeymes Samuel above.

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