The new James Brown biopic, Get On Up, is about friendships. Chadwick Boseman, who plays Brown, along with Nelsan Ellis (Bobby Byrd) and Dan Akroyd (Ben Bart), showed incredibly chemistry while portraying key relationships in the Godfather of Soul’s life.
Ellis, who many will readily recognize from his role as Lafayette on HBO’s True Blood, was exceptional as Brown’s best friend and talented sideman Bobby Byrd. Amazingly, he and Boseman had never worked together before.
“Working with Mr. Boseman, it was an easy dance with him [because] he’s a great actor,” Ellis, who went to Julliard, told Hip-Hop Wired. “And he’s such a generous actor. Every single day working with him I loved.”
For Boseman, the feeling was mutual.
“I been a fan of his for years,” said Boseman. “I [watched] him on True Blood and watched him in loads of movies so I already knew it was going to be a good chemistry.”
Boseman became a star after his portrayal of Jackie Robinson in 42 so he knows a thing or two about acting, and heaped praise on his co-star. “He seemed like he worked from a place that was subtle and truthful,” he said. “I felt that once we got out of the dance rehearsals, there was a camaraderie because we were both feeling similar pain. [laughs] We went through hell together with AJ.”
That AJ he’s referring to is the choreographer, Aakomon Jones, who had Boseman ably kicking Brown’s trademark footwork and moves.
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Photos: Warner Bros.