The anticipated James Brown biopic, Get On Up, opened in theaters last week. Chadwick Boseman, who played the character of Jackie Robinson in 42, takes on the role of the Godfather of Soul. This film also stars Dan Aykroyd Viola Davis, Octavia Spenser and songstress, Jill Scott.
Jill received a script and knew she had to be a part of the film, no matter if her part was big or small. When Jill went to audition, it went so well that writers created a character for her that wasn’t originally in the script. She plays DeeDee Brown, who was James’ second wife.
“DeeDee Brown is James Brown’s second wife. Mother of his children. She was completely and utterly devoted to the man. She basically saw him for the first time on stage and was done just like I was. I’ve never seen James Brown in person, but being a part of this film made me feel like I actually fell in love with James Brown through DeeDee,” Jill told The Source.
Most relationships are bittersweet. There are many ups, but downs as well. DeeDee loved and accepted James, especially the many times his frustrations were taken out on her.
Jill said: “Sometimes, he’s very passionate and loving and sometimes, the weight of being James Brown was taken out on her and she accepted it. She accepted it because she loved him and she wanted him. He is an extraordinary man… He’s a great man and she stayed as long as she could.”
Jill, who knows more than a thing or two about music, truly enjoyed the musical scenes and how everyone, even the extras, made them come to life.
“The production was incredible… That’s 200 extras in uncomfortable clothing with wings. You have to turn the AC off so it’s hot. They were really excited to do it again as many times as it took and that says a lot for the performances. Even Chad had a chance to be inside James Brown. Seeing from his perspective. Who gets to do that? Not too many people. Nobody, except Chad,” said Jill.
When discussing how it was working with Chadwick, Jill had many positive things to say, but kept talking about his character.
“He’s a cool guy. Very smart guy, nice to be around, easy personality but I really was more interested in seeing James. He’s the one that I have these feelings for. He’s the one that gives me butterflies and makes me melt. Typically, you do a role and you bury them and you say peaceful words over that character and you move on. I have not been able to let go of the relationship that DeeDee had with James,” she said.