Somebody make this happen ASAP!
Jeffrey Wright is one of those actors who I rarely see give interviews. He seems like an intensely private man who lets his work speak for itself; and I think I speak for most folks when I say that we love his work, and wish he was given even more opportinuties – especially in lead roles.
So it was thrilling to watch the below interview which he gave recently, specifically to talk The Hunger Games (he was cast as Beetee, manipulator of electricity, in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire), and hear him express his strong interest in playing Russian poet and author Alexander Pushkin, who some may not know has African roots; his great-grandfather, Abram Gannibal, was a black African man, taken captive in his childhood, shipped to Russia in the early 1700s, where he was presented as a gift to Peter the Great. Peter the Great then made him his godson, and 3 generations later, after some inter-racial coupling, Alexanger Pushkin was born.
His was quite an interesting, involved life, dying at 37 years old – born into the Russian nobility in the late 1700s, published his first poem at the age of fifteen, and went on to be considered by many to be the greatest Russian poet, and the founder of modern Russian literature… who, by the way, happens to have African ancestry.
As Wright notes in the interview below, Pushkin was also known to be quite the “wild man,” a “rebel,” and really a full-bodied character that would make for good character study on screen.
I could only find 1 film on the life of Pushkin – a 2006 Russian film, titled Pushkin: The Last Duel. However, Pushkin was played by a white Russian actor – Sergey Bezrukov.
I’d love to see this become a reality. I wouldn’t hold my breath though.
But watch the full interview below, and learn a bit more about Beetee as well: