Get On Up
Credit: D. Stevens

It’s a man’s world in Get On Up, the second feature film from director Tate Taylor (who loved women so well in his debut The Help). Taylor was thrown plenty of scripts about “women-in-pain” after his box office success but it ended up being the life and times of James Brown that most intrigued him. “As I dug in and started to discover more about him, the good and the bad, I loved the reasons he was often bad and I loved the reasons he was good,” says Taylor. “I love that he would stop at nothing to keep reinventing himself so he could stay current, and as a result he changed music.”

Taylor enlisted 42 star Chadwick Boseman, who turned in such a quietly dignified performance of baseball great Jackie Robinson, to embody the Godfather of Soul. “Jackie has left the building, we’ll just say that,” says Taylor with a laugh. “Oh my god, Chad’s having so much fun.” (For the many musical numbers, Taylor employed a mix of Boseman’s own voice and an overlay of Brown’s actual voice.) Joining Boseman are Help stars Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer, who play Brown’s mother and brothel-running aunt respectively, as well as Jill Scott who plays Brown’s wife Edie. Get On Up is shooting right now in Mississippi and is scheduled to hit theaters August 1.

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