Somebody make this happen ASAP!
Jeffrey Wright is one of those actors who we rarely see give interviews. He seems like an intensely private man who lets his work speak for itself; and it all most certainly does, and we all wish he was given even more opportunities – especially lead/headlining 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, Alexander Pushkin was born.
His was quite an interesting, involved life, dying at just 37 years old – born into 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 a 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 a Pushkin film starring Jeffrey Wright become a reality. I wouldn’t hold my breath though…
Watch the full interview below, and learn a bit more about Beetee as well: