Chadwick Boseman and Dan Aykroyd Are Now BFFThere was a serious mutual appreciation society going on between Boseman and Dan Aykroyd, who plays Brown's business mentor Ben Bart, aka Pop.
"Dan Aykroyd is a legend, and it was just a pleasure to have him on this movie because of the enthusiasm he brought to it, and also because he knew James Brown," Boseman cheered. "It was an interesting relationship that James Brown had with Ben Bart, Pop. I remember reading, he calls this white man Pop? I was like, really? And the more I read about it, the more I understood the friendship. There was a friendship, there was a mentorship, they taught each other. It was easy to do that with Dan because he gave so much."
Aykroyd returned the compliment with grace. "You get on a set and you’re in it together," Aykroyd explains. "You face yourself and you’re there with the director in the common environment of creativity. You do the work. But it’s not hard to love Chad. He’s just an enormously likable and extremely talented man. My affection in real life for him translates into the movie. I think you can see it. Because Pop really loved James Brown. They had a great friendship."
James Brown Didn't Read Music: There are several musical sequences where Brown practices with the band, but no actual music writing is being done. That's because Brown may have not even been able to read music. "When we met with his daughters for the film, they said, ‘Daddy didn’t talk music. He didn’t read music, I don't think he ever tried to’" Taylor said of Brown. "He spoke about music in terms of what feels good. That's what made his music genius, it came from his heart."
Get On Up Is A Rock Star Cautionary Tale From The Biggest Rock Star In The World: Jagger and Brown were peers, but at a producer, he made sure the film didn't skimp on its treatment of Brown as a single-minded careerist who used and abused friendships and trust. "It tells the story of being single-minded and how he’s almost obsessed with making it and making himself out of somebody from nothing," Jagger said. "There’s always one a price to pay for that one single-minded drive, and I think this movie shows the price you pay for that. It could have been a fictional story."
Chadwick Boseman And James Brown Shared A Birthplace: Boseman and Brown both hailed from South Carolina, so when Boseman visited Brown's hometown, it wasn't too surprising. But it was still its own beast.
"A lot of people will say, well, you're from South Carolina, but he's from the low country South Carolina, it's different," Boseman laughed. "We went to Augusta to meet the family, and I stayed down there a little bit longer, drove around, saw family, and soaked up as much of it as I could.
This trip helped Boseman turn Brown into a real person, which was crucial given that Brown lives on in terrible impersonations and mimicry these days. "Sixty percent of my fear was from my dancing," he said. "And thirty percent was the caricatures, getting past what people know."
Dan Aykroyd Was Close With James Brown: While everyone had a favorite James Brown story, Aykroyd actually knew the man. But years before he worked with Brown on The Blues Brothers, he was just a young man eager to see him in concert. "1968. Montreal, Canada," Aykroyd set the stage. "The building is gone now, it was called the Esquire Show Bar. You sat at the bar and the performers would dance along the bar. So when Danny Ray came out and they dropped the cape on James Brown and he did ‘Please, Please, Please,’ that was a seminal moment for myself and my six friends who’d squeezed into our friend’s mother’s Mustang and came down from Ottawa to see this show. And there was James Brown and his Bolero heels this far from our beers."