AUGUSTA — Actor Chadwick Boseman said he prepared for the lead role as the Godfather of Soul, James Brown, by dancing until he got tired, reading, watching footage and traveling down to Augusta to see what the city was like.
“I think it was all important, and, depending on what day we were shooting, I would find different things to inspire me,” Boseman said on the red carpet before the premiere of “Get on Up.”
The premiere took place Thursday night in front of Regal Cinemas in Augusta. Boseman's voice could barely be heard as fans cheered for him and shouted out quotes from the “Get on Up” movie trailer.
“I met with members of his family and others to really gain an understanding of the role,” he added.
The red carpet featured a countless number of local public figures, national figures and Brown's family members.
Among those who received the loudest applause was Brown's wife, Tomi Rae Hynie, and his son, James Brown Jr.
Hynie said the excitement of the movie has been a fantastic experience and added that she felt like she was looking at her husband when she saw Boseman's performance.
“I laughed, I cried, and I clapped when I saw the movie; and I can't wait to see it again,” Hynie said.
In addition to the family, employees from Brown's record label and other employees of Brown also graced the red carpet.
Maria Moon said she was executive director of promotions for James Brown Enterprises for 17 years. Moon said she first met Brown when she was hired as a receptionist.
“He was on a gig and when he came back to town, I heard him coming up the hall with his spurs on,” she said while laughing. “And I knew it was him when he opened the door and slid across the floor with his famous dance move. So that's how I met him.”
“Get on Up” has a scheduled release date for Aug. 1. The movie tells the story of the late James Brown, who is originally from Augusta. Brown died early Christmas morning in 2006 at the age of 73, and is survived by family, friends and fans, who all still refer to him as the “Godfather of Soul.”
Derrek Asberry is a beat reporter with the Aiken Standard. He joined the paper in June 2013. He is originally from Vidalia, Ga., and a graduate of Georgia Southern University. Follow him on Twitter @DerrekAsberry.
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<a href="http://www.aikenstandard.com/apps/pbcs.dll/gallery?Site=AG&Date=20140724&Category=AIK0101&ArtNo=724009992&Ref=PH">Click here to see a gallery from the "Get on Up" premiere in Augusta.</a>
Staff photo by Derrek Asberry Chadwick Boseman said dancing until he was tired was part of his process in playing the role of James Brown in “Get on Up.”×
Staff photo by Derrek Asberry Tomi Rae Hynie, widowed wife of James Brown, said she laughed and cried while wathcing "Get on Up" for the first time. She and her son, James Brown Jr., attended the premiere of the movie at Regal Cinemas in Augusta.×
Staff photo by Derrek Asberry James Brown fans all pulled out their phones to take pictures of the family and actors during the movie premiere of “Get on Up” at the Regal in Augusta.×