In town for Friday night’s screening of Miles Ahead at Kansas City FilmFest, we asked actor Don Cheadle about the many hats he wore as the movie’s writer, producer, director and star.
Which role was the most challenging for you?
“Just the cumulative effect of doing all of it… that was the biggest challenge. It was a 10-year journey in many ways and something that every step of the way there’s been a lot of obstacles and hurdles to overcome. I’m ultimately glad that I’m here with the film and get to share it with my family in Kansas City.”
What’s the biggest reason we need to see this movie?
“Because I think you’ll have a great time, have fun and get into a lot of great music.”
What advice would you give aspiring youth about becoming an actor?
“I would say, ‘Don’t do that. (laughing) Do something else, anything else if you can.’ It’s a very difficult business; it’s very challenging. Still, to this day, it’s hard for me. This movie was hard to put together. You have to really be committed and be a creator. “
What was it about this movie that made him want to invest so much time in it?
“It just wouldn’t go away. I mean, I tried to walk away from it a couple years ago and I just started feeling like if I walked away I’d be even more disappointed than if I just pushed it through. So it ultimately became like a mandate for me.”
Miles Ahead, inspired by events in his life, is a wildly entertaining, impressionistic, no-holds barred portrait of one of 20th century music’s creative geniuses, Miles Davis, featuring a career defining performance by Oscar nominee Don Cheadle in the title role. Working from a script he co-wrote with Steven Baigelman, Cheadle makes his bravura directorial debut.