Photography: Laura Davis
MADISON, Miss.–Mississippi got advanced screenings of the new biopic “Get on Up” about the life of James Brown this weekend. The premieres brought the movie’s star, Chadwick Bozeman, back to the state and the red carpet event in Madison raised $30,000 for Mission Mississippi.
The movie stars Bozeman as the legendary “Godfather of Soul” and features Mississippi locations in Natchez, Jackson and the surrounding areas as doubles for Cincinnati, Paris and Augusta, Georgia, Brown’s home town.
Besides the buildings and the trees, the movie made good use of Mississippi’s people, including twins Jordan and Jamarion Scott, who played James Brown as a youngster, including in a gritty fight scene (no spoilers here).
“It’s hard work. We had to do it six in the morning, all the way to night time,” the twins told News Mississippi on their red carpet interview.
They both said they had fun making the film.
“You had to do the scenes over and over, but it was a lot of fun,” said Alvin Edney, of Brandon, who played Brown’s son Teddy.
He told News Mississippi he actually learned a lot about Brown during the making of the film.
“How he overcame all the expectations of him being colored, how he strived to be better than everyone else.”
Director Tate Taylor said Mississippi will likely get more films in the future because of resources the state can offer and because of new incentives to film makers.
“It’s important for all of us as citizens of Mississippi to do what we can to bring industry and commerce and I happen to be in an industry which allows you to go places and I figured, why not,” said Taylor. “I brought ‘The Help’ here and it was a big success and this has been as well.”
He said that Hollywood companies would come as long as it makes financial sense.
“It changes our image,” said Gov. Bryant of the movies that have been made in the state. “People who come here go back and say ‘Mississippi’s not the place you might think. It’s a warm, welcoming advanced society there’ that they want to bring more opportunity to in the movie industry.”
He said that it brings job opportunities while the movies are here and experience for people who may want to be in the movie industry who might otherwise have had to move.
He also said that the state is trying incentives like rebating 30 percent of what a movie spends hiring Mississippians.
As far as the content of the movie, News Mississippi is committed to not spoiling it for you. You can see it when it debuts for the public Aug. 1. If you want to learn more, you can visit www.getonupmovie.com.