'Atlanta' star Brian Tyree Henry explains that unsettling season-finale shootout

Warning: Spoilers for the “Atlanta” season-one finale below.
“Atlanta” pulled off a jaw-dropping shooting scene in its season finale that was unforgettable, mostly because it was so hard to figure out how to react.

“It was very interesting to watch,” Brian Tyree Henry, who plays Alfred aka Paper Boi, recently told Business Insider. “Some people laughed and some people thought it was wrong. Others said, ‘We just saw that the other day.’ That’s the great thing about ‘Atlanta’ is that it keeps the conversation going.”

In it, Earn (Donald Glover) is on the search for his lost jacket, which has led him, Alfred, and sidekick Darius (Lakeith Stanfield) to the house of the Uber driver from the night before. But just as Alfred gets the feeling that something isn’t right, police storm their car and end up shooting down the fleeing Uber driver.

Viewers showed a range of reactions on Twitter:



Atlanta stars shooting finale fxQuantrell Colbert/FX‘Atlanta’ stars, from left, Brian Tyree Henry, Donald Glover, and Lakeith Stanfield on the season one finale.

“I love how the audience wasn’t really sure what to do, because that’s kind of how we are as a people,” said Henry, 34, whose character Paper Boi is a rising rap star in Atlanta.

“We’re never really sure how to react to that. And yet still in the episode, we had to go about our day, go about our lives, and figure out what to do. I don’t think that ‘Atlanta’ was trying to push an agenda, or trying to make that important. It was just a part of our lives. It was just a part of our day. Sometimes, that’s enough to make you wonder why this is normalcy.”

That said, Henry admitted that there was some anxiety when they were filming the scene.

“We were really uncertain when we were doing that shooting scene, in the South, in that neighbourhood,” he told us. “We were like, ‘OK, we’re really going to do this.’ It was something that was necessary and something that really pushed the envelope. But at the same time, it was like, ‘We see this every day, don’t we?’ Isn’t it just insane that we’ve gotten so used to seeing people get shot?”

“Atlanta” will return for its second season in 2017.

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