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Ava DuVernay On What She Thought When Kofi Siriboe Auditioned For Queen Sugar: “Oh, He’s A Handsome Young Brother”

Ever since the day the people laid their eyes on actor Kofi Siriboe on the OWN series Queen Sugar in 2016, he’s risen to Idris Elba heartthrob levels. It’s been a meteoric rise for the actor, who also appears in the new comedy Girls Trip, and one that wouldn’t have happened without Ava DuVernay.

Kofi Siriboe Queen Sugar

“I will take responsibility for the current phenomenon that is Kofi Siriboe,” DuVernay jokingly shared with PEOPLE. She acknowledges that the commitment he has to his character, Ralph Angel, is what draws many of us in.

“The sweetness, the humility, the effort that he puts in to try and live a better life, really that is part of the sex appeal.”

The 44-year-old director is the co-creator of the series (alongside Oprah Winfrey), as well as a producer and writer for the drama. She said that she knew when Siriboe read his lines at his audition that he was going to be the perfect Ralph Angel. His good looks didn’t hurt either.

“He walked in that audition room and it was really his talent,” she said. “I was looking for an actor that had the full dexterity, flexibility to do the part of Ralph Angel, a complicated part. And I was like, ‘Oh, he’s a handsome young brother!’”

The 23-year-old’s portrayal of the very complicated character, which is a top-notch performance every week, is in DuVernay’s mind, what has helped him become a sex symbol for fans.

“He’s kind and he’s also flawed and he’s trying his best. I think that adds to his appeal and Kofi really is that guy in so many ways,” DuVernay added. “He’s a great actor, so he plays a different guy in Ralph Angel but the core of him — the kindness at the core — is what Ralph Angel and Kofi have in common.”

We can all agree that he’s great on the show. We can also agree that whether he played a vulnerable character or a fool, it wouldn’t matter in terms of his appeal. That man is gorgeous!