André Benjamin as Hendrix in All By My Side
The first bit of footage of André Benjamin, aka OutKast’s André 3000, portraying Jimi Hendrix for the recently premiered biopic All Is By My Side has finally seen the light of day.
From the looks of it, fans should be pretty pleased.
Casting a known actor and personality to play Hendrix was a bit of a gamble. It could be argued that an unknown actor allows one to more easily suspend disbelief and become fully engrossed in the film. Yet, with this admittedly brief glimpse into his performance, Benjamin appears to have done a fine job embodying Hendrix. The shy-yet-confident mannerisms are there, as is the laid back, almost syrupy intonation.
It reminds one a bit of Val Kilmer’s performance as Jim Morrison in Oliver Stone’s The Doors. In both cases, the quirks and mannerisms seem a bit played up, but not so much as to ruin what is otherwise a remarkable performance.
The scene sees Hendrix talking to Linda Keith, a friend who helped launch his career, about the Monterey Pop Festival – where he’d first grab the attention of American audiences.
Sadly, the Hendrix estate has not granted music rights to the film, which instead features Hendrix playing cover songs: The Beatles, Muddy Waters, Elvis Presley.
Hendrix was known to cover these artists, of course, but that’s not why we know him. Still, All Is By My Side might be saved by André Benjamin’s acting abilities, if this clip is any indication of his performance as a whole.
The movie, which was written and directed by John Ridley, screened at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival, and will also be screened at the South by Southwest festival.
What do you think, are you looking forward to seeing All Is By My Side? Does André Benjamin make a good Jimi Hendrix? Let us know in the comments below.
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