Nelsan Ellis Talks GET ON UP, Learning About Bobby Byrd, Doing Some Serious Sweating Alongside Chadwick Boseman, the End of TRUE BLOOD and More

     August 1, 2014


Whether you’re into True Blood or not, it’s about time that show comes to an end; Nelsan Ellis needs more time for movies now!  He stars in Get On Up as Bobby Byrd, James Brown’s (Chadwick Boseman) best friend, collaborator and steadfast supporter.  Back when they were just kids, Bobby convinced his family to take James in after he got out of prison and, ever since, even when things got especially tough, Bobby stood by his side no matter what.

With Get On Up due in theaters on Friday, August 1st, Ellis took the time to sit down and discuss how he went in to audition for the role of James Brown and came out playing Bobby Byrd, what made this film especially challenging, what he thinks about Bobby’s choice to stick with James despite his poor attitude, how he feels about the end of True Blood and more.  Hit the jump for the full video interview.

get-on-up-nelsan-ellisNelsan Ellis:

  • 00:00 – On originally auditioning for the role of James Brown.
  • 00:50 – Jumping into research, singing, piano and dance training all at once.
  • 01:39 – Prepping for the movie alongside Boseman.
  • 02:02 – On knowing nothing about Bobby Byrd prior to the film.
  • 03:07 – Has he had contact with Byrd’s family?
  • 03:40 – Bobby Byrd as James Brown’s anchor and the film’s anchor as well.
  • 04:25 – Ellis’ thoughts on Bobby’s decision to stand by James despite his behavior.
  • 06:11 – The lack of information available on Bobby Byrd.
  • 08:55 – On doing the concert scenes, and losing weight and sweating quite a bit in the process.
  • 10:43 – On Tate Taylor as an actor’s director during those concert scenes.
  • 12:33 – How many different wigs does he wear in the movie?
  • 12:50 – On having to play Byrd over the course of many years of his life.
  • 14:40 – Does the end of True Blood mean more movies?
  • 14:55 – How he feels about True Blood coming to a close.

Please enable Javascript to watch this video


Around The Web

Latest News

Will Forte Joins Key and Peele Movie KEANU; Plot Details Revealed

Key and Peele play friends who decide to pose as gangsters in order to retrieve their stolen cat.

ALOHA Review

Say ‘goodbye’ to Cameron Crowe’s latest film and possibly his career.


It’s not “The Rock vs. The Earthquake”; It’s “Dwayne Johnson and an Earthquake”, and that’s good enough despite a selfish “hero”.

Make-Up Legend Rick Baker Is Retiring; Cites Studios Wanting “Cheap and Fast” Over Quality

We've not only lost an icon, but an entire artform is in danger of becoming extinct.

Director Kyle Newman Talks BARELY LETHAL, His PG-13 Battle, Assembling the Cast, and More

Plus his thoughts on High School movies, his first cut, and doing the film independently.

Poster Roundup: ANT-MAN, LONDON HAS FALLEN and TED 2

Big bullets, big explosions and ... Ted.

FAST & FURIOUS 8: Vin Diesel Shares Promo Poster Teasing New Location

Things might be getting significantly more violent in the eighth installment of the immensely popular franchise.

Watch: THE COMEDIANS Star Josh Gad Plays “Save or Kill”

Plus he talks about his first TV crush, his hidden talents, the worst job he’s ever had, and more.

Natural Disasters: 8 Survival Tactics We Learned from the Movies

"United States government just asked us to save the world. Anybody wanna say no?" Based on what typically goes down in natural disaster movies, you probably should.

RESULTS: Guy Pearce Wants to Know Your Goals in Exclusive New Clip

Cobie Smulders and Kevin Corrigan also star in this odd riff on the romantic comedy genre comes from 'Computer Chess' director Andrew Bujalski.

Page 1 of 3,96912345...102030...Last »