Aretha Courtney B Vance, Co Franklin, Johnny Cochran discussed on Fresh Air
That's an excerpt from genius. Aretha courtney b vance. Welcome to fresh air. It's a terrific performance that you give thank you. It's a great portrayal of a very complicated man. So let's start with his preaching when you listen to recordings of. co franklin's. What did you hear that you wanted to capture everything he He was a self made. Preacher he has you characterized in my intro that He was a step son of a sharecropper so is stepfather. Gave him an ultimatum. Because he was running back and forth literally running back and forth ten fifteen twenty miles to Guest preacher at small churches and then rushing back to to get back to do his sharecropper ensures. She gave him a choice. She said the pope or the pile and he chose the the pulpit and stepfather kicked out so he had to. He had to sinkers when there was no safety net form and to see where he the heights that he reached on that After that that very fateful day Was was was to me was everything that characterized his. His life has choices to get where he had to go and his The people that were in his church. That's why they were so passionate about him because he was them. He was everyone in detroit. Most black folks ninety nine percent of the black folks in detroit came straight up from mississippi. Alabama georgia arkansas. They they came up and they were part of the great migration so He was he was real with them. Let's talk about seattle. Franklin's voice which you had to learn and understand for your portrayal did you hear in his voice. And the way he used repetition and just kind of savored words churched so i most pastors during that time. The they did that. So that repetition was and is is that that black tradition of call and response and it ties everyone together ties acquire behind him as well as the qual- behind him together with the The congregation in front of him. And he's he's enveloped in sound and and And family and and everybody knows they're supposed to do this. Person who gives the repetition of of the certain words and so it is a rhythm. It's a rhythm that just builds. I listened to hundreds of sermons of his. They're all on their all digitized online. And i listened just to hear his his cadences rhythm his his words that that give me keywords keep me in sync with him and it is a genius preachers At that time had to be able to Be able to connect with anyone and everyone on any topic and be able to take it. Bring it back to the cross. So i i love the. I love listening to his sermons. But i i love church so i love listening to all all passers in getting that word So in in terms of playing complicated people. Let's move on to johnny cochran who portrayed. In the american crime story series the people vs oj simpson and cochran of course was the star lawyer and oj's defense team. You've said you didn't watch a lot of videos of the trial and you. You felt you didn't need to. Why did you feel you didn't need to our live. The trial the year long drama that we all live through Who those who were of age. Remember that nightmare. So i was I was intimidated to go back into a portrayal person that everybody knows and has an opinion about So mother. I approach acting. Is it's problem solving and Sometimes based on who i am The problem needs to be solved by by delving into doing the all of the research. And doing all of the minutia work in building from scratch but With johnny cochrane and people were so I said no. i don't. i'm just gonna read jeffrey. Toobin the run of run for your life. I believe the name of the book. And i'm going to stay away from watching footage. If i'm watching footage i'm going to be a mimicking and i had to get to the place where i'm doing it and the scripture great and people will forgive the minutia that i miss because they'll get wrapped up in the story and i'm going to jump in. I read the book twice. I saw that. He is mother of her four five children in his family. She chose him. She knew that he would have the stomach to deal with. White folks insist she put him in an all white environment and went to la high and then he went to ucla and change. The rest is history So once i saw that that he was put in all white world and use that to to segue out into To is is is live in his career has got him. i know him. That's what that's that was my journey detroit country day scholarship detroit country day. Harvard yale fences once. I knew that. I said i got him. I don't need anything else. Let's hear a clip of you. Portraying johnny cochran and this is part of your closing argument. So mark furman was the lapd officer who found the bloody gloves near the crime scene. Molly was investigating the murder of. Oj's ex wife nicole simpson and her friend. Ron goldman during the course of the trial. The defense presented tapes of furman making racist remarks. Not only making racist remarks kinda bragging about being racist and firm is. Racism became a key part of the defense strategy. So let's hear an a scene in which you're making your us. Johnny cochran are making the final argument for the defense. Don't be fooled. This isn't just one office. Mark firm represents the entire. Lapd no you may not know this but you are empower. Your decision has a major implication both in this courtroom and outside of things happen for a reason in life. Maybe.