All Articles Tagged "Don Cheadle"
Devil in a Blue Dress, the 1995 film starring Denzel Washington as Ezekiel “Easy” Rawlins, is an underrated classic. Based on the novel of the same name by famed author Walter Mosley, the film, directed by Carl Franklin, is a crime thriller set in 1948 Los Angeles. Unemployed, Easy has fallen on hard times. In need of money, he agrees to find a missing woman, Daphne Monet, but ends up being caught in a heap of trouble as he attempts to solve the mystery of her disappearance. Read on for some secrets behind the making of Devil in a Blue Dress.
When Miles Davis was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006, his nephew, Vince Wilburn Jr., was asked who he’d want to play his late uncle in a film about his life. He responded, Don Cheadle. That started a 10-year journey to bring Miles Ahead to life. Thankfully, Don Cheadle accepted the challenge, and on April 1, the long-awaited biopic finally opened in select theaters. Co-written, directed by and starring Don Cheadle, the film, which shares the same title as Davis’s 1957 album, gives an intimate, riveting look at a brief, destructive, self-exiled period in the life of a master musician.
Check out the 10 reasons why you need to see Miles Ahead. And be sure to see the movie when it opens nationwide on April 22!
Don Cheadle is always mesmerizing on screen, but Miles Ahead is one of his best performances yet. His range and versatility are unparalleled, and he embodies Davis, raspy voice and all, like no other actor could. He also showcased his own trumpet-playing skills.
We all know about Spike Lee’s 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks, Shondaland and the empires belonging to Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry, but did you know the following stars have production companies?
Last year, Don Cheadle launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to create a biopic covering Miles Davis’s storied life and career. Thankfully, the House of Lies star was successful, and his team started filming last July with Cheadle in front, as well as behind the camera as the director. Fast forward more than a year later and the finished product, Miles Ahead, will make its debut this weekend at the New York Film Festival. And while there’s no official release date for Miles Ahead in theaters as of yet, the buzz surrounding the film is massive.
The project, which Cheadle stated last year would not be your traditional biopic, will focus on Davis’s life in the late ’70s during his silent period. It will also cover the end of his marriage to Frances Taylor (played by Emayatzy Corinealdi), and his quest to retrieve his stolen music for a comeback album, which was taken by his record label. The individual helping him track that music down is a journalist played by actor Ewan McGregor.
A clip from Miles Ahead has been released in preparation for Sunday’s festival premiere. In it, Davis can be seen making magic in the studio, telling the musicians if they’re going to mess up, “be wrong strong” before taking over on the trumpet.
The clip, though only a minute long, will definitely have you excited about the film. It’s shot in a very creative way, and Cheadle sounds exactly like the jazz legend. This is going to be a good one, folks.
Check out the clip for yourself below:
“Middle Of Nowhere” Star Emayatzy Corinealdi On Working With Ava DuVernay, And Playing Francis Taylor In Miles Davis Biopic
Addicted comes out on DVD tomorrow (that’s right, Feb. 10!). To help promote the DVD release, I had the chance to talk to many of the stars involved with the film, including the beautiful Emayatzy Corinealdi. She plays Brina in the film, but Corinealdi is most known for her role as Ruby, the main character in one of Ava DuVernay’s first films, 2012’s Middle of Nowhere. And now, Corinealdi is sure to make very big waves in her role as Miles Davis’ ex-wife, Francis Taylor, in the biopic about his life, Miles Ahead. I chatted with her about what it was like to work with Don Cheadle on the film, what it was like working with Ava DuVernay and seeing her meteoric rise, and how a trip to LA by herself with little money and a lot of ambition opened so many doors for Corinealdi.
If She Read Addicted Before Playing Brina In The Film
No I hadn’t. I’ve never read the book or anything remotely close. I’ve never really been a reader of fiction too much, so I hadn’t read anything beforehand. Based solely on the script, I thought being able to explore that world of addiction in a way was different. It was different for me in that we have a woman who is at the center of this addiction and she’s a black woman. When you put that together, that’s something in our community that we don’t really talk about: addiction or mental illness and things like that. So that’s the thing that really caught my eye first. Then the story itself and how it unraveled did too.
When She Knew She Was Bit By The Acting Bug
I had enjoyed acting since about middle school. Anything like that I could do, I did it. But at that time, and for a while, I didn’t think of it as a career option or a career choice. It wasn’t in my mind. By the time I got into high school I was much more focused on sports, and I was running track. Though I was still involved in different theater companies within school, I was never a part of the drama department. I felt like, “I’m too cool to be in the drama department.” It was the weirdest thing. I was still involved in all the other acting orgainizations in school that weren’t the drama department, but yet, I always had this desire of, ‘What if I could do this? I don’t know if I can.’ By the end of high school I was like, ‘You know what? I think this is what I want to do. You have to do this.’
Making The Scary To Decision To Drive To LA And Make Her Dreams Come True
At that time, when I made that decision, I was absolutely fearless. I was like, ‘What do I actually have to lose? Nothing.’ At a company that I was working at, whenever someone would leave, they would send an email saying where they were moving to. So someone had done that about California. I said, ‘I’m going to get in touch with this person because I’m going to move there at some point.’ Three months later, I saved up only about half of the $2,000 I wanted. I reached out to that person and I said, “I have a couple questions about LA. Any advice?” They gave me advice and then he said, “You know, whenever you do move out here, you have a place to stay here with me.”
I didn’t know this person. I was like, “Oh okay…” But when the time came, I packed up and drove out and he was the person I stayed with when I first got here. It’s this guy named Jay that I’m still friends with to this day. I didn’t know anything, I didn’t really know anyone, I didn’t exactly know where I was going, I just knew that I had a plan and I was willing to take the risk to see what would happen. I got my first gig within a month of being here. And from there, I just started doing little things, like infomercials and taking classes, doing anything I could to get started.
Working With Don Cheadle On Miles Ahead
When you work with someone like Don Cheadle who is just one of those actors committed to his craft, it’s a gift. He’s always been someone I’ve respected and admired. He’s someone who takes himself so seriously, but yet, doesn’t at the same time. It just leaves so much room for you to explore and learn some new things.
How She Prepared To Play Francis Taylor
I actually got to meet the real Francis Taylor. Don had set it up for she and I to meet, so we had lunch a few times. That really helped me with my preparation, just to get to know who she was and her experiences, and how all that fit into the context of the film. Having her real life point of view on some of these things made all the difference in the world. And with her being a dancer, a trained ballerina, I went and took classes as well to refresh upon that for myself. And then, taking all that and then putting my own personal experiences in a character, it’s kind of my way into the character, it really helped me to find who she was and what her story is.
Watching Ava DuVernay’s Rise After Middle Of Nowhere
She hasn’t felt the need to change or conform. She’s still her. That’s encouraging for her as a woman in this industry who’s a director and a black woman. She hasn’t compromised. That has been exciting for me to see. She’s always assured in what she’s doing and she was that way on Middle. I hope it’s encouraging to other people who want to be a director. It can be done. We’re talking about a woman who not that long ago was a publicist. Nothing is impossible in that sense.
If She Hopes To Work With Her Again Down The Line
Absolutely! Working with Ava was such a joy. We had this kind of unspoken understanding with each other. She gets you, you get her and then you move on. I would for sure love for us to work together again soon.
What’s Next For Emayatzy
[Amazon series] “Hand of God,” which we start shooting in mid-February. I’m very excited about that. That’s something, again, so different from Middle or anything else. All of these women I play are very different women, but they all have a particular experience and point a view. I’m really excited about jumping into “Hand of God” and being able to portray this woman who maybe a lot of people view in a particular light, but you’ll get to know who she is.
The Biggest Lessons She’s Learned Since Entering Hollywood
Having a solid foundation. My faith has been my base. That’s the thing I go to when everything else seems to be falling apart. Also, knowing your power. I think at times, as actors we’re told that we have no power. And we feel like we have no power, but we do: Knowing your power to say no. We don’t have to accept every role. Every audition you don’t have to do. And knowing the power you have as an artist. You have this canvas you’re able to paint with whatever you see necessary. You can see that character, and there’s power in that.
The 2014 Emmy Nominations are in and there are some exciting names in the running. Kerry Washington is once again up for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her role as Olivia Pope on “Scandal,” Don Cheadle is nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for his portrayal of Marty Kaan on “House of Lies,” and Chiwetel Ejiofor is up for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie for the Starz film “Dancing on the Edge.”
Other exciting nominations include:
“Orange is the New Black” – Outstanding Comedy Series
Kate Mulgrew, “Orange Is the New Black”- Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Treme – Outstanding Miniseries
“The Trip To Bountiful” – Outstanding Television Movie
“Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight” – Outstanding Television Movie
Idris Elba, “Luther” – Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie
Cicely Tyson, “The Trip To Bountiful” – Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie
Angela Bassett, “American Horror Story: Coven” – Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie
Kate Burton, “Scandal” – Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series
Joe Morton, “Scandal” – Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series
Uzo Aduba, “Orange is the New Black” – Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series
Laverne Cox, “Orange is the New Black” – – Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series
Natasha Lyonne, “Orange is the New Black” – Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series
The 66th Annual Emmy Awards air August 25 at 8 pm on NBC. Will you watch?
Don Cheadle Gives First Look Into His Miles Davis Movie And Says Biopics Need To Have The Family’s Blessing
If you missed out on the memo, Don Cheadle launched an Indiegogo campaign earlier this year to help raise money to create a film that has taken 10 years of planning and work to put together: Miles Ahead. It turns out that Cheadle (who did put a lot of his own money into the project if you were wondering) and crew have the money they need and are all set to start filming this week in Cincinnati. In an exclusive interview with Entertainment Weekly, Cheadle talked about working with the family (who only saw him as the right person to play Davis) to bring the movie together, what fans can expect from it, and why it’s not just “another biopic.”
What It’s Like To Be In Costume And To Finally Begin Shooting The Film
“It’s a great shot; it’s kinda cool, huh? I attribute that to my department to more than anything I’m doing: That’s hair, makeup, wardrobe, and props. But it’s cool to be sitting on it and have it all begin. At this point, with everything that’s happening, its real and surreal and hyperreal and every version of it that I can think of.”
The Davis Family Wanting Him To Play Miles And Why He Was Leery At First
“I never thought about portraying him, really. I had done several other quote-unquote biopics and was always struck by the limitations they presented, because they were trying to be historically accurate. Let’s be honest, any biopic is a series of omissions and conflations of events and amalgamations of characters. And you’re trying to have a movie experience under three hours, so in the process you condense people’s lives from cradle to grave, so things tend to feel episodic and event-oriented as opposed to a story about people and relationships and a character.
So I didn’t want to do another biopic. So when I heard the idea, from various people who had played with him, producers, writers, that this could potentially be something, I thought, ‘if the script is great, I would be open to it since he’s always been a fascinating figure to me.’
And then, in 2008, when Miles was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, his nephew was interviewed and was asked, ‘Would you ever do a movie on his life?” He said yes, and that Don Cheadle is going to play him. And I was like ‘I am?’”
What Part Of Davis’ Life The Film Will Focus On
“Well, the construction of the movie is the parallel story of Miles in 1979 at the end of this quiet period he was in, the five-year stretch of time when he wasn’t playing and performing and recording, juxtaposed against the 10-year period where he was with Francis Taylor Davis, who, at the time, was the love of his life and his muse.”
Why So Many Biopics Struggle When The Family Is Hesitant, And Why The Davis Family Approved Of Him
“They should be hesitant. I can’t imagine handing over the keys to my loved ones life to some writers and you know, a bunch of people I don’t know and say, ‘ok produce a story on my mom.’ [Laughs] They have their experience of their father, their uncle, their bandmate, their leader, and, at the end of the day, I don’t know why they said me. Maybe it has to be with the kind of roles they’ve seen me play before, maybe it’s because I’ve been in other biopics. Maybe it’s a resemblance, whatever the concoction was that made sense to [Miles Davis’ nephew] Vince Wilburn to say, ‘Don is going to play my uncle.’ That’s a question I never really asked, to be quite honest.
We wouldn’t have been able to use the music we’re using if the estate hadn’t signed on and hadn’t been on board. We’re working with Sony and Columbia and the family and between the agreements of that triumvirate, we’re able to use the music of his life, during the Columbia years.”
You learn so much about Davis, Cheadle’s work on the film (including learning to play the trumpet) and more from this interview with EW. It’s a lengthy one, but worth reading in full, and you can check it out over at the Entertainment Weekly website.
Are you excited about the film?
Don Cheadle Launches An Indiegogo Campaign For His Directorial Debut, A Miles Davis Film Called “Miles Ahead”
Don Cheadle has launched an Indiegogo campaign with a goal of raising $325,000 for his directorial debut film about Miles Davis called Miles Ahead.
In the campaign pitch, Cheadle calls music his “passion,” and notes that there’s never been a movie about Davis. This film will focus on a few days in the mid-1970s when the jazz musician and trumpeter was making a return to music after battling drug addiction.
Davis’ family is supportive of the project, according to the Los Angeles Times, and Cheadle himself will not only direct, but star in the film. Ewan McGregor will play a Rolling Stone reporter, and Herbie Hancock has signed on to help with the music.
Cheadle is clear that this is not a biopic. “Standard biopics touch all the standard benchmarks for five seconds, then move on,” he told USA Today. He wants this to be lively storytelling rather than a visual retelling of various facts.
As for why the Oscar-nominated actor is turning to the public to raise money, he says in the clip below that Davis created “social” music, so it makes sense to use social media to to bring the movie to life. Cheadle is investing a large percentage of the budget himself as well as his fees. The funds raised through Indiegogo will pay for photography in Cincinnati (where the movie will be shot) and incorporating the music.
And there are tons of perks for those who donate. If you give $85, you get a copy of The Miles Davis Art Book along with a link to pre-screen the film. A $200 donation will get you a rare Miles Davis t-shirt. And at the $550 level, there are aluminum and wood “posters” of Davis available.
Will you be donating?
Most serious relationships head down the aisle toward matrimony within a respectable two-five-year period, but these celebrity couples have decided Nevuary 1st is a more ideal wedding date. Here are 15 celebrity couples we’re more than sure will never he Mr. and Mrs., despite some of them trying to convince us otherwise.
The Game and Tiffney Cambridge
The Game popped the question to actress and model Valeisha Butterfield, the mother of his first child, but they never made it down the aisle. After falling for elementary school teacher Tiffney Cambridge, The Game became a father two more times. Despite their on and off relationship, the California rapper once again got down on bended knee and proposed to Cambridge. The couple was the star of their own reality show “Marrying The Game” for two seasons but after wedding bells failed to ring, The Game and the mother of his two children called it quits earlier this year.
There was a time when A-list movie stars wouldn’t have been caught dead doing television shows but times have surely changed. Instead of catching them on the silver screen, you can now find these actors on the small screen.
Matthew McConaughey’s first words ever uttered on the big screen were “Alright, alright, alright” in 1993’s Dazed and Confused. Since that breakout performance he’s gone on to star in over 30 movies. This month the Texas native won the Academy award for Best Actor as ladies man turned AIDS activist Ron Woodruff in Dallas Buyers Club. Starring in HBO’s acclaimed series True Detective, McConaughey is an early favorite to win an Emmy for his role. If he does, he will become the first to win an Oscar for Best Actor and an Emmy in the same year.