Word On The Street: Actor Jesse L. Martin Of “Rent” And “Law & Order” Fame To Replace Lenny Kravitz In Marvin Gaye Biopic

March 4, 2013  |  

For all of those people who were giving the boo boo face side eye to the idea of rocker and eye candy Lenny Kravitz playing Marvin Gaye in an alleged upcoming biopic, this might be good news for you. Kravitz is out, while actor Jesse L. Martin is in.

You’ve seen Martin before. He was the original Tom Collins in the Broadway play and film Rent, and he played Detective Edward Green on Law & Order for nine years, so he’s not a newbie to the big or small screen. Did I mention that he can sing!? According to Deadline, his talent will be shown off in a huge role as he takes over the role of Marvin Gaye in the Julien Temple-directed film, Sexual Healing. Of course, late last year when it was revealed that Kravitz would be taking the role, Gaye’s son, Marvin Gaye III objected greatly to the choice and threatened legal action towards the filmmakers. According to Shadow And Act, Gaye III was upset that Kravitz, a childhood friend, would sign on to do such a film, which he felt was shameful, seeing as how the movie is supposed to cover a very hard time in the legend’s career. According to Deadline, the movie will focus on Gaye’s time in Europe in the early ’80s as he battled his drug addictions and eventually was able to bounce back with his musical career as he made the Midnight Love album. Kravitz seems to have backed out of the project, but it’s not clear if pressure from Gaye III or critics had anything to do with that.

Despite all that drama, the movie is still in the works according to both sources, even with Marvin Gaye III and the Gaye family trying to find a way to stop the movie from being made. But according to Shadow And Act, EMI, who has all the rights to Gaye’s music, gave those working on Temple’s project permission to use his music in his film. With all that out of the way, we’re not sure how the singer’s family could stop the movie from being made at this point, and it sounds like it could be a good one, especially since they’ve got the very talented Jesse L. Martin in the lead role. This guy doesn’t look too far off from Gaye, and he’s very talented, so I’m willing to give it a chance whenever, if ever, it is released to see the light of day.

What do you think of the change-up?

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  • I`ve been saying that jessie should play this role for years.Damn can i call it or what?

  • shame on you

    THANK YOU…the world stoped they day…Marvin Gaye was murdered…Jesse L. Martin is best actor to become Marvin Gaye… he ever look’s a little like him and he can sing & act…i can’t wait

  • patsy

    wow, jesse l martin should have been it from the start!!! i was a total fan of law and order and the first time i saw him i said, hell this guy IS marvin gaye!!!!! absolute talent across the board!!! woo hoo!!! you go jesse!!! i am so pumped to see it now!!!!

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  • Dichu eba realy lub mehSteebie

    Well the man definitely can blow so lets see how it goes

    • Dichu eba realy lub mehSteebie

      BTW I LOVED him in RENT

      • shame on you

        ”AND LAW & ORDER…

  • JaneJane

    He was the one who was suppose to do it originally…that was the reason he left L&O. So glad to see him back (although he is a theater actor)!

  • Dalia

    He favors Marvin than Lenny ! Cant wait to watch!!

  • I’ve been a Kravitz fan since Let Love Rule, but he is a musician and singer, not an actor. Musicians and singers need to quit taking acting roles from actors; it’s hard enough for an actor or actress to get a good role. An ACTOR getting a role rather than a musician/singer means one less actor having to play some stereotypical ****

  • Guest360

    Love Jesse!!! I can’t wait to see this biopic now. It’s going to be amazing 🙂

    • shame on you

      ”HELL TO THE YEA….

  • Mia

    YASS! I know Jesse has wanted to do this project for years! Congrats Jesse, make us proud!

    • patsy

      he will make us proud!!! he is such a great actor!!! theater and film, the guy is an absolute star

  • Angelitis

    They should have picked him in the first damn place!!!

    • shame on you

      ”DAM RIGHT” there no one better to become Marvin Gaye…

  • Yay!

    Wow! How wonderful! I can’t recall the last biopic that was so dead on in the casting. The acting will be an upgrade, imo.

  • Babydoll 70


  • kierah

    I thought he was supposed to be involved in the Marvin project a few years ago. What happened?

    • beejcee

      He was, I read in a magazine that he left Law and Order early to work on the movie. After hearing about him leaving Law and Order, I also heard that Berry Gordy and Smoky Robinson put an end to the project after Martin had been casted and quit his show. But I never learned why the two Motown colleagues were so dead set against the project from the beginning.

  • Raeday


    • shame on you

      100% yes

  • interestingfact


  • Prissy

    Now this I can agree with. Oh the family doesn’t want the world to remember Gaye as a crack head who slept with underaged women? LOL I guess. I love Jesse L. Martin. The man is talented. He shall be great in this role.