Monday, January 18, 2021

Eli Goree & Leslie Odom Jr. on Working with Regina King on ‘One Night in Miami’ / WATCH

*“One Night in Miami” is the feature film directorial debut, from Academy Award-winning actress Regina King.

The film tells a fictionalized version of events following the 1964 heavyweight championship victory of Cassius Clay (Eli Goree) in Miami. After the win, Clay celebrated with Malcolm X (Kingsley Ben-Adir,) Jim Brown (Aldis Hodge), and Sam Cooke (Leslie Odom Jr.)

It’s based on the stage play written by Kemp Powers (Soul,) who adapted it for the screen. The film largely takes place in Malcolm X’s hotel room in the hours after Clay’s historic win. At the center, it is a conversation between four successful Black men, who are navigating traditionally white spaces. With Malcolm initially leading the discussion, it centers on what is the best approach to help advance the Black community. Each man’s position in the film connects to current discussions happening in 2021 among the entertainment, sports, and political figures in the Black community.

EURweb correspondent Jill Munroe spoke with two of the film’s stars, Eli Goree and Leslie Odom Jr., about the experience of making the film, working with Regina King and which actor would they love to swap roles with.

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Goree on working with King:

It was like a master class, it was amazing. I got to learn so much just from working with her and getting to be around her to see her work ethic and the process. Her focused attention to detail, and also her authenticity, her grace. She’s phenomenal.

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Odom Jr. on which role he would have liked to try:

Malcolm. I doubt I could do it as well as my brother Kingsley, he does such an exceptional job, but Malcolm. He’s running that whole night, I was so sick of him by the end… Sam came to party, but Malcolm just keeps laying into me. It’s Malcolm’s night in so many ways. He’s driving the bus. Not only because of what he thinks and feels but because of where he finds himself at this point in his life. It’s an incredible challenge for an actor.

“One Night in Miami” premiers on Amazon Prime Video on January 15.

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