I was contacted by a casting director in Paris, France, hoping I could assist with finding an actor to play the lead role in a film based on the relationship between bantamweight boxing world champion Alfonso Teofilo Brown, better known as “Panama” Al Brown, and French poet Jean Cocteau, who would become his close friend, adviser, manager, and maybe lover.
I found an 8-page article on Sports Illustrated’s website, dated March 2, 1964, titled How Cocteau Managed A Champion, which goes into great detail about thie partnership. You can read the entire piece HERE.
The casting director says that they are looking specifically an actor of African descent (Alfonso Brown was Panamanian by the way – photo of him above), between 30 and 35 years old (or can play that age), who can speak a little French, and is both tall and thin (Brown was 6ft tall and weighed 118 pounds – wow! – with a reach of 76 inches).
It is a feature film that will be shot in France and Luxemburg in 2013, and, as noted, is inspired by the true story of the former champion Brown and French poet Jean Cocteau, who met in Paris in the 1930s, as Cocteau went on to become his manager and more… it’s believed that Brown was gay and that he had had a lengthy romance with Cocteau.
I can’t reveal anymore than what I already have.
But I told the casting director that I would post this notice here, and see what you guys come up with, because I couldn’t immediately think of anyone for the part. Again, the hunt is for an actor African descent. It’s a wide pool, the world over, and I’m stomped.
Maybe you folks can assist…?
Here’s ‘Panama’ Al Brown doing some damage in the ring, in the 1930s: