“It’s been so long since I had a weekend,” says Brian Tyree Henry, the “Atlanta” star who’s currently playing to sold-out Broadway audiences in Kenneth Lonergan’s “Lobby Hero,” alongside Chris Evans and Michael Cera. Between that and seven feature-film roles to come this year — including in “Hotel Artemis” with Jodie Foster, Sterling K. Brown, and Jeff Goldblum in June — the 36-year-old Harlem resident, who more than once let friend and then-fledgling actor Brown crash on his couch, carved out time to tell HANNAH SPARKS about his favorite post-show “indulgences.”
Slaven Vlasic/GettyAfter a show I’ll do a bourbon, usually Woodford Reserve, neat. I’m also starving as soon as I get off the stage, ravenous. My indulgence lately is 5 Napkin Burger. I really don’t want anyone to scream at me because I’m not supposed to be eating that right now, but I really love their wings and turkey burger.
The simpler my weekend can be, the better. It’s about finding my own personal space. On a morning off, I’ll usually go to my bodega that’s next door and get a cup of coffee. There’s just something about that bodega coffee. Then I’ll get a ham and cheese sandwich, come home and relax.
I’ve lived in every borough, but Harlem is where I’ve lived the longest. It has everything that I need. There’s a great jambalaya at Harlem Tavern, and an amazing Cobb salad that I love. Riverside Drive is one of my favorite streets in Manhattan and, when it’s warm, I will stroll up and down there. In the summertime, I spend a lot of time in the library courtyard at Columbia. It’s so serene, and you can’t hear the city at all. It’s one of my favorite escapes. I’m right by the Hudson River, so sometimes I’ll go down and just chill on the dock.
You can’t not like Astor Place. It’s going to sound completely typical but the Strand bookstore is really fun to get lost in. The Famous Cozy Soup ’n’ Burger is one of my favorite diners because it’s such a system. You come in, sit down, can’t stay at the table for longer than 20 minutes. The structure of it is great, and it’s open late. And then right down St. Marks there’s one of the first Dallas BBQs. You could get a fishbowl margarita for $10, some good wings with sticky sauce. It’s a fun place to go with friends.
I love to road-trip. I went to Yale, in New Haven. One of my great friends, Bun Lai, owns this restaurant [there] called Miya’s Sushi that I love to go to. He’s the first person who turned me onto sushi. I also love driving up to Connecticut, especially in the spring. That’s when the trees are in bloom, by the river. It’s such a beautiful drive.
I have friends that run the gamut: artists, actors, playwrights, directors. I will go and support their work if I’m in town. But most of the time it’s all about us just wanting to be with each other, finally sitting down to powwow. Recently, I got to see my friends from college because we really wanted to watch Coachella — Beyoncé! We grabbed bottles of wine and crowded around the television.