Before social media, we knew actors as actors. Most of us picked a favorite movie star based on their talent and movies alone. Now with everyone having a platform, we know so much more about people and the things they care about. In some cases, having a large social media following can even help actors land a job. When it comes to using their platform for more than work, such as speaking out about issues important to them and taking a stand to educate others, the One Night in Miami stars have strong thoughts.
Regina King’s One Night in Miami tells the story of four friends Malcolm X (Kingsley Ben-Adir), Cassius Clay (Eli Goree), Jim Brown (Aldis Hodge) and Sam Cooke (Leslie Odom Jr.) meeting to celebrate Clay’s win and new title of World Heavyweight Champion, shortly before he changed his name to Muhammah Ali. The four discuss the civil rights movement throughout the film and they all feel their roles in it differently in their respective careers. I got to sit down with Eli Goree for an interview with CinemaBlend and was curious about how he feels this weight in his own life as an actor, and here’s what he said:
Career aside, Eli Goree maintains that everyone should be authentic and strive to do what they believe is morally right, and who can argue with that? It’s been interesting to see so many celebrities speaking out about different issues, and how they respond to backlash as well. As Goree said, people aren’t always going to agree with what one thinks is right or wrong, so it makes sense that as long as a person stands by something and feels good about it, that they should feel confident speaking about it.
Kingsley Ben-Adir, who portrays Malcolm X in One Night in Miami, shared similar sentiments, although he is not active on social media himself. He’s very focused on honing his craft as an actor, and it sounds like social media could detract from that in some ways. When asked what he thinks about the responsibility of using his platform for more, Ben-Adir said:
Kingsley Ben-Adir does not feel he has that responsibility since he is not on social media, and that makes complete sense. Social media is what gave us the behind-the-scenes look into the lives of people we don’t know, and while doing interviews as part of movie promotion was part of the job long before social media, there’s something about being able to send a thought out and have millions of people read it seconds later that carries a new weight. Ben-Adir elaborated on his love for acting, saying:
So well put. And Kingsley Ben-Adir’s performance as Malcolm X is proof that his focus and dedication to acting has paid off. Honestly, all of the performances in One Night in Miami will blow you away. You can experience them when the film is available January 15 on Amazon Prime Video.
Obsessed with Hamilton and most things Disney. Gets too attached to TV show characters. Loves a good thriller, but will only tolerate so much blood.
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