James Brown

James Brown

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GET ON UP Premieres at The Apollo Theater!


Last night, the upcoming James Brown biopic, Get On Up, had its world premiere at Harlem's Apollo Theater in New York City.

The premiere was attended by the likes of Reverend Al Sharpton, Mick Jagger, director Tate Taylor, actors Craig Robinson, Chadwick Boseman (who plays James Brown), and Nelsan Ellis (who plays Bobby Byrd), and James Brown's son.

On the red carpet, Taylor, who also directed the controversial 2011 film The Help, said of Boseman: "He's absolutely pitch perfect, nothing cliche. He's not doing an imitation, he just embodies the character… The funk is timeless."

"It was fun. I enjoyed it, I loved being on set, and I'm so pleased that the movie came out as well as it is," added Jagger, an old friend of Brown's.

"His determination was Olympic," revealed Ellis of the late James Brown, who plays legendary and influential bandleader Bobby Byrd, who gave Brown his first big break.

Fred Melamed, who plays King Records founder Syd Nathan, expounded on specific scenes: "When he came out with a record that said, 'Say it loud, I'm black and I'm proud," I'd never heard anything like it before. That was a revolution. That was the beginning of a new way of looking at things. That changed the world."

Nathan was one of the first white label heads to work with black musicians, or what was then called "race music."

Of his starring role, Boseman said, "One of the major [hip-hop] break beats was 'Funky Drummer'…and a lot of the music you're listening to now is based off of that 4/4 rhythm and that funk." Boseman, of course, also played Jackie Robinson in the acclaimed 2013 biopic, 42.

Get On Up also stars Jill Scott and Dan Aykroyd and is due for a nationwide release this Friday, August 1.
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