For years, people have been telling Don Cheadle he should play Miles Davis in a biopic, and he always thought at some point he would, since he grew up listening to the jazz great’s music and truly respected Davis’ genius. Little did Cheadle know, however, that not only would he play Davis, but he’d also write and direct an innovative snapshot of the artist’s life with Miles Ahead.
Marking his feature film directorial debut, Cheadle veers from the standard biopic with Miles Ahead and instead delivers a “historical fiction,” focusing on a moment in Davis’ career when he was not making music.
For five years in the 1970s, Davis was a recluse, wrestling with his demons and making it very difficult for people to reach him. Cheadle delves into this time period and crafts a tale in which the jazz musician takes an intrusive journalist (Ewan McGregor) on a wild ride to help him retrieve some stolen studio tapes – tapes that included new, unreleased music.
At the recent press day for Miles Ahead in LA, we talked with Cheadle about not only how long it took to make this ambitious film, but how all the production delays gave him time to learn to play the trumpet and his hope that audiences will want to hear more of Davis’ music after seeing the movie.
Hear what he had to say in the video above and be sure to catch Miles Ahead when it hits theatres tomorrow!