EUR: Why was it important for you to tell James Brown‘s story
Tate Taylor: I am inspired by him. I am protective of him. When you poll people on the street and ask them who James Brown is, they’ll list the general stuff…the mug shot, the drug use, the spousal abuse. There is so much people don’t know. People don’t know what he did for music. He invented the funk. He taught Michael Jackson what to do. People think Michael Jackson was discovered by Berry Gordy, which he was, but what they don’t know is that Jackson toured with Brown. Brown taught him how to be a showman, taught him his moves. When Jackson audition for Gordy he sang a James Brown song and danced like James Brown.
EUR: Talk about breaking through the 4th wall.
Tate Taylor: In biopics there is often the trap of needing to get out information quickly. Like about their rise, their hits, and their money. I didn’t want to do that. I wanted this to be an unexpected pleasure of a new way to tell a man’s story. What better person than James Brown…that would have the arrogance and courage to come in his own movie, from the grave and say, ‘let me tell you my story!’
EUR: What are the lyrics to your favorite James Brown song?
Tate Taylor: One of my favorites, that I am on this week is, “I’ll Go Crazy.” When he says, ‘you’ve got to live for yourself, yourself and nobody else…’ I feel like that was James Brown.
EUR: What does soul music feel like to you?
Tate Taylor: I really can’t put my finger on it…You start to move and you don’t even know that you are moving. That is the powerful aspect of soul music.
Tate Taylor: I hire people who draw you in and don’t act at you. When Davis gets on the scene, you get nervous because you know she is going to take you somewhere. I knew Chadwick Boseman would be that kind of person and he was!
“Get On Up” hits theaters August 1st.