Kendrick Lamar Talks Short Film ‘We Cry Together’ & Hopes for Best Live Action Short Nomination at 2023 Oscars

Kendrick Lamar Talks Short Film ‘We Cry Together’ & Hopes for Best Live Action Short Nomination at 2023 Oscars

The rapper was previously nominated for best original song for “All the Stars” at the 2019 Academy Awards.

Kendrick Lamar We Cry Together

Kendrick Lamar in “We Cry Together”

Courtesy Photo

He’s already a 14-time Grammy Award winner, and now Kendrick Lamar is hoping to extend his good fortune to the Oscars.

Leading up to the 2023 Academy Awards — whose shortlist voting takes place next month, Dec. 12-15 — Lamar spoke with Variety in an interview published Tuesday (Nov. 29) about his short film We Cry Together, in which he stars opposite Taylour Paige.

The most important thing for the rapper was to make the film feel real. We Cry Together sees Lamar and Paige exploring a relationship that’s equal parts vulnerable and toxic from the confines of a small space. If it wins a nomination, the film would be eligible for a spot at the Academy Awards in the best short live action.

Lamar stated, “It challenged my to actually live in the writing, and really be there with Taylour [Paige].” “And I can remember us going back-and-forth and feeling like, damn! I understand this character even better because I’m evoking its energy and passion because it’s alive and direct.”

Lamar, Dave Free, and Jake Schreier helmed the short. Free stated that Kendrick told him about his desire for the space to feel thick and intense when he entered the project. He also wanted to address topics that we, as society, tend to shy away from .”


“The Heart Part 5” rapper said, “So in writing I say, “OK, how do I make this feel personal but also holding up the mirror as a collective idea rather than just my personal concept?” I wanted to bring that drama because that’s what makes everything evolve .”

Lamar said that filmmaking allowed him more freedom as a person. It allowed me to run towards my fear, say what I want to and do it artistically .

Only 10 films will make the shortlist for the Oscars’ best live action short category, before being narrowed down to the final five nominees. Lamar — who was previously nominated alongside SZA, Mark “Sounwave” Spears and Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith for an Oscar in 2019 for the Black Panther track “All the Stars” in the best original song category — will learn if We Cry Together made the cut when the shortlist is revealed on Dec. 21.

As directors of Lamar’s “The Heart Part 5,” Free and Lamar are up for a Grammy. Five years ago, Lamar and Free won the category for “Humble.” which they co-directed along with Dave Meyers.

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