Music artists are often the subjects of big-screen biopics like Ray and the upcoming Marvin Gaye and Jimi Hendrix movies, and Mekhi Phifer wouldn’t mind bringing another legendary singer’s life to film.
“I’ve always been an avid fan of Al Green. I would love to do the Al Green story,” Mekhi recently told Sister 2 Sister. “I think his story is a very intriguing one and when you talk about a character arc… His story is the ultimate character arc to me.”
Though he doesn’t consider himself much of a singer, Mekhi said he wouldn’t shy away from taking vocal lessons to pull off the role and play the “Let’s Stay Together” singer himself.
“I can act like I can sing, the way Angela Bassett act like she was Tina Turner,” he said. “That’s something that I would love to explore. I love the music. I love the era in which he’s at the height of his career. I would definitely love to do something like the Al Green story.”
While there are a number of biopics based on the lives of Black stars hitting theaters soon, Mekhi said there’s still not enough diversity when it comes to Black movies. “We have a lot of films and stories to be told. Right now, what’s mainstream is more the comedies and more slapstick,” he said. “We’re still missing out on the dramas or real romance films or action films. We’re not really seeing a lot of that…We still haven’t become totally mainstream yet. There’s still a ways to go.”
Mekhi’s new film Divergent opened March 21. He talks more about it in the April 2014 issue of Sister 2 Sister.