The Godfather of Soul, James Brown, will soon be remembered in an upcoming movie about his life entitled Get On Up. The film is directed by Tate Taylor and stars actor Chadwick Boseman as Brown. A number of the film’s key figures, including producer Mick Jagger, spoke with Rolling Stone about the upcoming film and about the legend himself, James Brown.
Boseman is no stranger to portraying iconic individuals. He recently played baseball legend Jackie Robinson in 42. Despite his success in that role, Boseman expressed some concern with tackling legendary figure.
“I felt like I shouldn’t play another icon, I shouldn’t do another biopic. And the singing and the dancing; I can hold a tune and I’ll dance if I go to the club, but doing this is a whole other level.”
Playing Brown naturally comes with the responsibility to not only replicate his vocal abilities, but also his commanding presence of the stage. Despite Boseman’s hesitation, he accepted the role and Jagger applauded him for taking on the challenge.
“It’s a really hard role to do,” Jagger told Rolling Stone. “Chad would be the first to tell you, he wasn’t a dancer. But after he’d worked for six weeks on it, he immeasurably had become the character.”Jagger would know: he was profoundly influenced by Brown.
Other names that will join Boseman in ‘Get On Up’ include actresses Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer of The Help (also directed by Tate), actors Dan Aykroyd and Craig Robinson, and R&B singer/songwriter Jill Scott.
‘Get On Up’ is set to be released in August, 2014.
— Ray Boyd, WOGL/Philadelphia