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‘I Drove Off the Lot and I was Broke’: Actor LaKeith Stanfield Reveals a Financial Mistake That Left Him With an Expensive Car and No Rent Money

Actor LaKeith Stanfield is gearing up for the release of his latest film, Disney’s “Haunted Mansion,” in July. But it was not too long ago that he was a new actor with money that was burning a hole in his pocket. 

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 24: LaKeith Stanfield attends the premiere of the 3rd season of FX’s “Atlanta” at Hollywood Forever on March 24, 2022 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

Stanfield, who reportedly has a current net worth of $4 million, has received accolades in Hollywood for his roles in various films and television series. Best known for his role on the television series, “Atlanta,” Stanfield made his feature film debut in 2013 when he starred in “Short Term 12.” He has gone on to be featured in films such as “Selma,” “Sorry to Bother You,” “Get Out,” and “Straight Outta Compton.” For his role in “Judas and the Black Messiah,” Stanfield received a nomination for Best Supporting Actor at the 2021 Academy Awards. 

With all of Stanfield’s success, he revealed on the “The Shop UNINTERRUPTED” podcast how he frivolously spent his first big paycheck. “I hadn’t seen that kind of money before,” Stanfield said. “It was like this car that I really wanted and that was the only thing that  was on my mind. ‘I have to get this car.’ ”

At the time, Stanfield had just gotten paid $130,000 for his first major role. He was 20 years old and excited to be an actor and make money. When Stanfield received his payment, he decided that he needed to purchase a car. The eager 20-year-old walked into the dealership with a bag of cash. 

“I didn’t have credit. I didn’t have anything,” he continued. “I walked into the dealership with a duffel bag full of money and just set it on the counter, like ‘Here it is, an exact amount for how much the car costs.’”

Consequences Arise For Impulsive Spending 

Stanfield learned many important lessons as a result of his first purchase. Soon, Stanfield realized that he would not have enough money to pay his rent — despite receiving such a hefty payment for his first role. 

“I drove off the lot and I was broke,” Stanfield said. “I had my car and of course learned the value in learning how to spend and use your money because then I’m struggling for my rent the next week and trying to figure it out. I was like, ‘This has to be backwards.’ ” 

A Need For Counseling

While discussing his experiences with the podcast hosts, Stanfield acknowledged that the lack of mentorship and financial guidance led him to make such a decision.  

“…If I had someone that was a mentor, someone to tell me, someone to just reach out and say, ‘Hey, that’s not how you spend your money,’ that would have been very, very helpful,” he concluded. 

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