The edge in romance may seem like an award for most actors, but the star of the new drama “Sylvie’s loveThere was reservation.
“There was no way I was going to do a romantic film until I read the script and saw that black people fell in love in the ’50s and’ 60s,” said 39-year-old Nnamdi Asomugha. “And then immediately I liked, well, I think people need to see this movie.”
“Sylvie’s Love”, which made its Amazon premiere on December 23, is largely set in central New York and explores the flow and flow of relationships between Robert (Asomugha), a charismatic jazz safonist, and Sylvie (Tessa Thompson). Does. Prescribed television producer.
Asomugha is considered a rising star in Hollywood: in 2017, her breakout performance in the drama “Crown Heights ” Earned Indy Spirit and NAACP Image Award nominations. Earlier this year, he called the Hollywood Reporter “A promising Broadway debutIn the new staging of “A Soldier Play” by Charles Fuller. Behind the scenes, he has helped create projects through his production company, iAm21 Entertainment, which include “Sylvie’s Love,” “Crown Height” and “Harriet, “As well as play Broadway “American Son” (2018), starring his wife, actress Carey Washington.
But before acting and producing, Asomugha was considered one of the best cornerbacks in the National Football League, playing 11 seasons for the Oakland Raiders and other teams before retiring in 2013.
Asomugha said, “It is a conjecture that I would like to go from one career, where you will reach another career with a microscope device, where the microscope can be bigger.” “Can’t help you fall in love with you, and I fell in love with acting.”
He recently spoke through video about the transition from football to acting, “Sylvie’s Love” (directed by Eugene Asha) and the unexpected experience of appearing on Broadway. These are parts of the conversation.
You’ve gone from a successful NFL career to an acting career. What was the timeline for you?
I was just obsessed with films and television. When I started playing, the advice I kept getting from former players was to do something that you absolutely love. Because the love that you have for it will keep you and carry you forward. And I knew it was an avenue. I had no idea that it was going to be necessarily produced, but I knew I wanted to get into acting.
Were you still an NFL player when you got bit by that bug, or was it after your career?
While I was still in the NFL, I didn’t decide until after a year [retiring]. You go through this period of soul-searching when you do something that you have done for the last 20-some years of your life. This is an identity crisis, like, do I have anything else to move forward in life? All the painful things you tell yourself.
On top of that, I knew that I was not 20 years old. I was not coming out of Yale or Juliard. I found the window very small. So I did not want to wait. I just wanted to start making projects so people could say that oh, well, he knows what he is doing.
Do you often take lessons and experiences from your football career and apply them to your acting career?
I advise people all the time, involve my children in sports because sports have shaped my life – discipline and patience and hard work and not to fall down and complain. But the number 1 thing I think is preparation. For the same preparation I need to get ready for a football game or football season, I have brought her into acting.
When did you start playing football?
I was 12 The first year I played football, the last year I played the piano. One day, I was late for practice and my coach said, where were you? I said I’m sorry I was singing. And he laughed so hard. It was a big deal and I had to run from the lapse. Last time I ever played the piano. And this was the beginning of my football career. It was also devastating and confirming. Like, okay, I need to pay attention to this. This is what I do now.
You found your way as a means.
I did it!
Do you need to learn to play tenor saxophone for “Sylvie’s Love”?
I did not have, but I chose because I like preparation. I love the process more than anything, sometimes more than the actual moment. I got a saxophone coach who was also in the film and we only played for a year. And I found out that I was really good at playing the saxophone. I say “I” was, because I haven’t played it in a while, so I’ve lost a lot. But I wanted it to look authentic.
The film is set during the civil rights movement in the US. But with these two black characters and almost entirely black actors, the background is not politics, it is jazz. We see that some of those elements play out but it was not the focus. Can you tell us the motive behind this?
It was important to us that we fine-tune those elements and not your face. We wanted to focus on love. We have been defined as black people by that period. We know about marches and protests and water hoses and dogs and conflicts. But we were also falling in love. We had family, we were getting married, we were dancing. My father-in-law says that we used to go to “dance”, we didn’t call it a club. We have a crime of black people as a part of our culture and for not celebrating it. It robs us of our humanity and just one whole aspect of our lives that really helped us get through those difficult moments. So for us, thought why not show up? Why don’t we illuminate love for each other during this time period?
And it was also one of the reasons why some people went through the making of the film because they felt that it should have been rooted in the civil rights movement. But this was not the film we wanted to make. We felt that there was not only an audience for Black Love, but love in general.
There are some moments from the film that you expect from the audience?
I think it was really important for us to show the level of vulnerability among men, especially black men.
I hope that the conversation of its recovery will be carried forward for men to express how they feel. The important thing for us is that men were shown doing this in front of their women.
You have produced a few films, some of which you acted in. Why did you go the creator route?
The projects I was looking at, not only did they not interest me, I did not find them. Not that there are projects and they were like, “Here’s your job!”
I was so serious about it that I didn’t want to use football to get in the door. So it meant standing [in classes] In front of a bunch of people who know who you are because they know football and you have to do a scene in front of them.
It is just to say that there was a level of discipline that I had to have because I want it to be something that is continuous.
How to do Do you and Kerry Washington support each other as actors? Are there plans to collaborate with each other in the film?
I produced “American Sun”, but as actors, there are no plans for that collaboration so far. We are very supportive of each other’s journey, but we have always been like this. We always want the best for each other what we are doing. And so it is not in the detail of specific things; This is just an overall appreciation for hard work.
Do you expect to do more plays on Broadway?
I had no dreams or aspirations of being on Broadway. I had no idea that playing was going to be on my cards until I did an Off Broadway drama and I fell in love with being on stage. And then the next year, for me to be in Broadway playing “A Soldier Play” and a role created by Denzel – I was just like, what’s up?