“I Can Act Like I Can Sing”: Mekhi Phifer Says He Wants To Play Al Green In Biopic

March 25, 2014  |  

In an interview with Sister 2 Sister and Mekhi Phifer to promote the film Divergent, the topic of biopics came up. With the new James Brown biopic, Get on Up, on its way starring Chadwick Boseman, and clips surfacing from the Jimi Hendrix biopic, All is By My Side, starring Andre 3000, these films are everywhere. It seems that playing a beloved black musician or figure is a win (or at least decent exposure) for black actors and actresses these days (and recent rumors say that Zoe Saldana might be playing Eartha Kitt soon). So when Sister 2 Sister chatted with Phifer, they asked him if he would be interested in being in a biopic, and he expressed serious interest in playing Al Green of all people.

“I’ve always been an avid fan of Al Green. I would love to do the Al Green story. I think his story is a very intriguing one and when you talk about a character arc… His story is the ultimate character arc to me.”

While he loves Green’s life story, which includes changing the focus of the singer’s life and becoming an ordained pastor in the ’70s after his girlfriend killed herself, Phifer admits that he can’t sing a lick. However, he’s more than willing to pretend:

“I can act like I can sing, the way Angela Bassett act like she was Tina Turner. That’s something that I would love to explore. I love the music. I love the era in which he’s at the height of his career. I would definitely love to do something like the Al Green story.”

But on top of wanting to be in a biopic, Phifer says that he just wants to see more diverse black films doing well at the box office. He says black actors/actresses and films still have a long way to go in Hollywood:

“We have a lot of films and stories to be told. Right now, what’s mainstream is more the comedies and more slapstick. We’re still missing out on the dramas or real romance films or action films. We’re not really seeing a lot of that…We still haven’t become totally mainstream yet. There’s still a ways to go.”

I do agree that Green’s story would be quite interesting to see on the big or small screen, but I’m not too sure if Phifer would be the man I’d pick to play Al. Maybe Nate Parker? Or…actually, that’s all I’ve got because I’m in love with Nate Parker (someone did mention Usher though). But what about you? Do you think that Phifer would make a good Al Green?

And congrats to him on the success of Divergent at the box office!

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