Jul 13, 2021
An actor with an impressive résumé by any measurement, Jeffrey Wright can currently be seen in the Netflix movie “Monster” along with Jennifer Hudson and A$AP Rocky, and will play Commissioner Gordon in the next Batman movie. He has a Tony, Golden Globe and Emmy for his role as Belize in the Broadway production “Angels in America” and its HBO miniseries adaptation. He has also starred as Jean-Michel Basquiat in “Basquiat,” Felix Leiter in several James Bond films, and appeared in the “Hunger Games.” On TV he’s had roles in “Boardwalk Empire” and “Westworld.”
But how he spent the early months of the pandemic has arguably been his important role yet. It started when he learned that the company that provides food to the Brooklyn Hospital cafeteria was forced to downsize, meaning it could only feed patients. Staff —including the nurses and doctors caring for the people who were the most sick—no longer had access to meals (especially when everything else was shut down). He called up two of his friends—the owners of Brooklyn Moon Cafe in Fort Greene and Graziella’s in Clinton Hill—and together they launched an initiative called Brooklyn for Life.
With the help of a GoFundMe campaign and other fundraisers, Brooklyn for Life grew far beyond its initial ambition: Wright has helped raise more than $1.5 million and BFL has delivered more than 170,000 meals to hospitals and FDNY EMS stations around the borough. The meals were provided by 50 mom-and-pop eateries, some of which themselves may have closed had it not been for the support.