Tuesday, October 19, 2021

‘Behind the Movement’ Cast on the ‘Romanticism’ of Rosa Parks’ Legacy [EUR Exclusive]

Roger Guenveur Smith, Loretta Devine, Meta Golding, Isaiah Washington
Behind The Movement Cast Members

*TV One’s original film “Behind The Movement is a unique and fast-paced retelling of how Rosa Parks’ refusal to give up her seat launched the history-making Montgomery Bus Boycott.

Directed by Aric Avelino, Meta Golding stars Rosa Parks alongside Isaiah Washington as Edgar “E.D. Nixon,” Loretta Devine as Jo Ann Robinson, Roger Guenveur Smith as Raymond Parks and Lashaun Clay as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 

“It was reported that I was tired and that wasn’t true,” states Meta Golding as Rosa Parks in the trailer. “I was tired of all the injustice, all the fear and indignity that they were putting us through. That’s the truth.”

Scroll down to watch the trailer.

Meta Golding

The film will reveal the untold story of how a group of everyday people decided Parks’ refusal was the right time to take a stand for their civil rights and demand equal treatment.

While Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a prominent leader of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, there was a chorus of lesser-known heroes, including Mrs. Parks, who helped spark The Civil Rights Movement.

Photo Credit: Twitter.com

“It’s an incredible piece of history that everyone will know a lot more about once they see this film,” said Emmy-winner Loretta Devine during a recent media teleconference. Her character Jo Ann Robinson was a “civil rights organizer and educator who stayed up through the night mimeographing thousands of handbills calling for a boycott of the Montgomery bus system,” per essence.com.

I thought I knew a lot about the Montgomery Bus Boycott because you study it in history,” she says during a recent media teleconference. “It happened in 1955 and I was a young girl then and I was amazed at the things that I didn’t know and what people will learn as a result of seeing this movie.”

Golding credits “our fantastic director” and “my illustrious cast” for helping her channel the spirit of Rosa Parks. 

“And the script was completely inspiring,” she adds. “It had a lot of references, that was a jumping off point because, for me, I knew who Rosa Parks was, and what she did, but I really only knew what she did and her image. I didn’t know anything about her past. I didn’t know that before she gave up her seat in 1955, that she was a seasoned activist. She was the secretary of the NAACP, and Mrs. Parks was a prolific author, so I read everything I could that she wrote and there was lots of biographies about her and also some audio and video of her in 1955,” she explains.

Golding noted that “there was this very specific strategy that the NAACP had by choosing to have Mrs. Parks as the face,” of the boycott.

“They needed to promote this image of a very reserved, church-going, responsible person, which she was, but that wasn’t the full story.”

Photo Credit: Twitter.com

As reported by paste.com, “Beyond the Movement” begins “as the news of the murder of Emmett Till is breaking, and ends on the evening of December 5, 1955, following Parks’ trial, also the day of what was to be a one-day boycott of the Montgomery bus system (it ended up lasting more than a year).”

“I went to a lot of church because the historically black churches were always part of the organizing and the civil rights movement and Mrs. Parks was a woman of faith and gained a lot of strength and courage from her faith and I always find it so interesting the way people worship. It informs a lot about a person,” says Golding. 

“Behind the Movement” honors the contributions of many unsung heroes of this watershed moment in the Civil Rights struggle, recounting the inner workings and behind the scenes preparation that took place during three intense days between the fateful evening when Parks refused to give up her seat, to the launch of the boycott.

Isaiah Washington, Roger Guenveur Smith
Behind The Movement

“This movie impacted me greatly,” Isiah Washington shared. “Almost 30 years I’ve been doing this and I still have the nerve to be picky. I only am motivated by things that move my spirit and Katrina O’Gilvie’s words, I found them to be… they struck me as a surrealist. Trying to have a conversation at a time where surrealism needs to be brought back. It’s not just the civil rights movement but I felt like another artist was speaking to me to say “Rise Up. Bring the best you can best to move souls.” That’s what I felt what I read it,” he explains.

“I made one call and it was to Kathy Hughes and I said, “Mrs. H, I’m moved by this piece.” And the conversation I had with Aric Avelino, I thought I died as an artist because now I feel like I’m interfacing with yet another person who’s romantic. Aric Avelino is probably the most romantic person that I’ve worked with in a long time. This is romanticism. His insightfulness for detail. The ethos that was captured at the leadership of Aric Avelino, I’m forever grateful. Thank you for giving me a breath of fresh air where I could feel good about being who I am as a male of color, a man, a father and an artist. I hope that is what people will take away from this film.”

Behind The Movement” premieres Sunday, February 11 at 7 p.m. ET

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is a screenwriter and freelance reporter from Chicago -- currently living in Los Angeles and covering A-list entertainment for various outlets, including Emmys.com. She has worked for: Miramax, MTV & VH1, The Jim Henson Company, Hallmark Channel, Paramount Pictures, and for iconic indie film producer Roger Corman.

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