The Netflix original movie Bird Box has taken the internet by storm during the holiday season. The cast which is led by Sandra Bullock and John Malkovich is a strong one. A person who has seemingly stood out to viewers is the actor who plays the adult version of Tom (if you’ve seen it, you’ll understand).
Tom’s real name is Trevante Rhodes. He’s a former high school football player and collegiate track and field star who began his acting career just five years ago.
He drew raves for his portrayal of Black in the award-winning 2016 film Moonlight. Rhodes plays Bullock’s love interest in Bird Box which has become a major topic of conversation for movie fans. The response to the film has been mixed. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film is currently sitting at a 67 percent approval rating from critics, and a 74% positive mark with fans.
While it may not be a film that is universally revered, it’s concept has created conversation. If I were judging Rhodes’ performance individually, I’d give him high marks. While he wasn’t given the kinds of scenes that allowed him to break loose to show a ton of versatility, he doesn’t have any of the cringe-worthy lines that we often see with athletes-turned-actors or inexperienced performers in general.
He’s believable in his role as the thoughtful, compassionate, but physically strong leader of the survivors who have taken refuge in Malkovich’s home. It was a nice departure from the kind of role we’d normally seen given to an African-American actor of Rhodes’ stature.
He didn’t say “yo, yo, yo,” or speak with the tone that is so often forced upon black actors in action, suspense and horror films. That splash of reality and diversity helped to allow Rhodes’ character to stand out a bit more. According to IMDB, Rhodes doesn’t have any other films in the works, but you can see him in the action remake of The Predator from 2018.
He plays Nebraska Williams.
I hate spoilers, so my challenge here was to describe as much about the Rhodes and his character without giving up the plot to folks who may be interested in seeing the film. Here’s to hoping I accomplished the goal. Bird Box is available via stream right now for all Netflix subscribers.