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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

What to stream: Enjoy prior standouts from ‘Sing Sing’ star Colman Domingo

Colman Domingo in a scene from the movie “The Color Purple.”  (Warner Bros. Pictures)
By Katie Walsh Tribune News Service

The talented actor Colman Domingo has been delivering terrific performances for years, building a body of work that showcases both his singular screen presence and versatility as an actor. In one of this summer’s most uniquely moving films, “Sing Sing,” he plays a prison playwright who finds salvation on the stage while incarcerated in a maximum security prison.

It’s one of his most stirring performances, but for anyone who has followed his career, it comes as no surprise, as Domingo has been demonstrating his abilities in a variety of roles.

The actor had a breakout year in 2023, with an Academy Award nomination for best actor for his turn in the Netflix biopic “Rustin,” playing the civil rights activist Bayard Rustin, who helped to organize the March on Washington. He also co-starred in the splashy musical adaptation of the Broadway stage play (itself adapted from the Steven Spielberg film) “The Color Purple,” playing the evil Mister, the abusive husband to Fantasia’s Celie. Domingo has a special talent for playing both heroes and villains, as demonstrated by this breakout year, and his awards season fashions proved his star quality as well. Stream “Rustin” on Netflix and “The Color Purple” on Max.

He also has a small, but memorable role in the 1990s-style crime caper (with a lesbian twist) “Drive-Away Dolls” directed by Ethan Coen and written by Coen and his wife, Tricia Cooke. Starring Margaret Qualley and Geraldine Viswanathan, Domingo plays a crime boss who sets off on their tails when the pair take off with a rental car that has a high-value stash in the trunk. Stream “Drive-Away Dolls” on Peacock or rent elsewhere.

Domingo also showcased his talent for villainy in the wild road movie “Zola” in 2021. Based on the viral Twitter thread by A’Ziah King, and adapted by Jeremy O. Harris and Janicza Bravo, “Zola” is directed by Bravo, and stars Taylour Paige and Riley Keough as two enterprising exotic dancers who take a trip to Florida and get into hot water with a menacing trafficker played by Domingo. Stream “Zola” on Max or rent it elsewhere.

He also co-starred in the 2020 ensemble piece “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” the last film of the late, great Chadwick Boseman, and starring Viola Davis in the title role. Based on the August Wilson play, and directed by George C. Wolfe, the film follows a contentious recording session with a famed blues singer. Domingo plays one of her loyal band members alongside Glynn Turman and Michael Potts. Stream it on Netflix.

Domingo has also appeared in films directed by Barry Jenkins and Ava DuVernay, including Jenkins’ 2018 romantic drama “If Beale Street Could Talk,” and DuVernay’s searing portrait of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “Selma” (he plays civil rights leader Ralph Abernathy).

That’s only a few standouts from Domingo’s long and eclectic career, but they truly demonstrate his range and ability as a screen performer, and provide an excellent primer for his excellent turn in “Sing Sing.”