To celebrate the release of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, which comes to Netflix this week, we had the pleasure of chatting with some of its incredible ensemble to find out more about their already critically-acclaimed film.
Based on the play by two-time Pulitzer Prize winner August Wilson, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is a thoughtful, compelling drama about the power of the blues and music, overcoming prejudices and societal boundaries, and celebrating your culture. Wilson’s legacy is astounding and is celebrated across the world, and stars Colman Domingo, Glynn Turman and Michael Potts tell us what his stories and words mean to them as actors, why now is the time for his work to be heard even more than ever and the transformative power of it.
Tensions and temperatures rise over the course of an afternoon recording session in 1920s Chicago as a band of musicians await trailblazing performer, the legendary “Mother of the Blues,” Ma Rainey (Academy Award® winner Viola Davis). Late to the session, the fearless, fiery Ma engages in a battle of wills with her white manager and producer over control of her music. As the band waits in the studio’s claustrophobic rehearsal room, ambitious trumpeter Levee (Chadwick Boseman) — who has an eye for Ma’s girlfriend and is determined to stake his own claim on the music industry — spurs his fellow musicians into an eruption of stories revealing truths that will forever change the course of their lives.
You can watch the full interview below:
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom arrives on Netflix on December 18th.