Mahershala Ali did Green Book for challenge it posed

Published: Nov 17, 2018, 14:56 IST | IANS | Los Angeles

Mahershala Ali says he was attracted towards Green Book by the challenge of playing an enigmatic character.

Mahershala Ali
Mahershala Ali

Actor Mahershala Ali says he was attracted towards "Green Book" by the challenge of playing an enigmatic character. The film is based on a true story of friendship and relationship between working class Italian-American bouncer who becomes a driver of an African-American classical pianist on a tour of venues through the 1960's American South.

The film is not a biopic but is inspired by the story about friendship between Donald Shirley, an erudite African-American pianist and his white chauffer Tony Lip. "What really intrigued me about Don Shirley was how complicated he was. There's so much to pull from in terms of the things he was dealing with, the things he struggled with, the things that he exhibited a degree of excellence in. The range of things that I was going to be challenged with and tackling... all that was really attractive to me," Ali said in a statement to IANS.

Shirley, Ali believes, was a lonely man who never felt as if he belonged anywhere. "I think the audience will find he doesn't quite fit into any world," Ali said.

He was highly educated and cultured and lived and trained in Russia and in London. Because he was African American, he's not someone who was going to be embraced in the classical world, and because he was classically trained, he doesn't really want to play the popular, so-called 'Black music' of the time," he added. The film is directed by Peter Farrelly. Anil D. Ambani-led Reliance Entertainment will release the movie in the country. It will release on November 23.

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