Ashley Thomas, who plays Henry Emory on the Amazon original series Them, sat down with the platform recently to discuss what went into this role for him. Thomas is also known by the alias of Bashy, as he is also a musician outside of being an actor. His past work includes roles from 24: Legacy, The Night Of, Top Boy, and many more- including appearances on shows such as Black Mirror.
The three-minute-long video provides some nice insight into a lead character who has many weights of life and experiences on his shoulders as he moves his family west. Thomas discusses how, as a black man, he brings his own experiences to the table before even taking into account the character's history.
The importance of the character of Henry came from Thomas taking away his own ego and experiences in order to take on the individuality present in the character and the time. The burdens and trauma of Henry Emory are explored well from the point of view of Thomas. Thomas also goes into the importance of remembering your character's setting and timing, as there were specifics to Los Angeles, 1950s Compton specifically, when portraying Henry. Gathering first-hand experiences and discussing the history of Compton was a large part of what helped Thomas get inside the mind of not only his character but also the mind of the environment. Little Marvin also gets into discussing the character of Henry and the evolution of him as the episodes go on and what this scenery does to him. Thomas discusses how he himself wanted to show such pressures taking an eventual physical toll on Henry Emory. It is something truly seen from one episode to another and it proves just how excellent of an actor Thomas truly is.