Movie executives slated to host casting call for local residents

Published 12:14 am Tuesday, September 17, 2013

NATCHEZ — Actors and musicians looking to land a part in the upcoming James Brown movie to be filmed in Natchez will have their chance this weekend.

Universal Pictures is scheduled to have a casting call for “Get On Up” Saturday at the Natchez City Auditorium.

The film will tell the story of the Godfather of Soul’s life from his impoverished childhood to his evolution into one of the most influential figures of the 20th century.

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Casting directors are searching for performers and extras to audition for the movie, according to a press release. Musical skills are welcome but not required. Casting directors ask that actors and performers auditioning Saturday bring a current, non-returnable photograph.

The directors are looking for actors and performers of all ages and ethnicities.

As the film takes place from the 1930s to the 1980s, period hairstyles are a plus. If you currently shave your head, please allow your hair to grow before the casting call.

Anyone unable to attend the casting call may e-mail a current photo, name, phone number, e-mail address, height, weight and availability to

The film begins shooting in Natchez and Jackson in early November.

The film’s premiere is set for Oct. 17, 2014.

Tate Taylor, who directed the Academy Award-nominated film “The Help,” will direct the film. Taylor officially announced last month in Jackson that the James Brown biopic would be shot in Natchez and Jackson.

Taylor said every frame of the movie would be shot in Mississippi, including scenes set in Paris and Vietnam.

Taylor grew up in Jackson and now has a house in Church Hill, a community north of Natchez.

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant said at the August announcement that the movie would be filming at the Mississippi Coliseum on the state fairgrounds, where Brown performed a concert in February 1969.

The producers have committed to working with the state’s WIN Job Centers to hire extras and qualified crewmembers.

Leading roles in the film have been set.

Chadwick Boseman, who played Jackie Robinson in “42,” will be portraying Brown.

Academy Award winner Brian Grazer and Erica Huggins will produce the film for Imagine Entertainment.

Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger and Victoria Pearman will produce under their Jagged Films banner.

Under his Wyolah Films label, Taylor will also be a producer for the film, while Wyolah’s John Norris will be an executive producer alongside Trish Hofmann and Peter Afterman.

The film will depict James Brown’s life from when he was nearly 5 years old and will extend to 1993. Brown died in 2006.