Leslie Odom Jr. has opened up about his role in The Many Saints of Newark.
The actor, who recently starred in One Night in Miami and Music, told NME about what fans can expect from the forthcoming Sopranos prequel film.
- READ MORE: ‘One Night In Miami’ star Leslie Odom Jr.: “Without Sam Cooke, there would be no Aretha Franklin”
“I work for the family,” Odom Jr. says of his character, refering to Tony Sopranos and the notorious DiMeo crime outfit.
“It’s about a pivotal summer in young Tony’s life, and we’re looking at the Newark riots.”
When asked about the portrayal of Black characters in the film, and the expected frankness that transpired in the series, Odom Jr. confirmed: “It is a frank approach, absolutely.”
He added: “It is still, in a lot of ways, the story of the family that we love – the Sopranos. That is not my story.”
“I was a happy artist,” the actor added, describing his experience working on the film. “I was very happy to talk about how the immigrant story rubbed up against the story of disenfranchised Black people at that time. It was quite literally incendiary. The city was on fire.”
Leslie Odom Jr. recently played singer Sam Cooke in Regina King’s One Night in Miami.
In a four-star review of the film, NME wrote: “The film culminates with a sequence built around Cooke’s live TV performance of ‘A Change Is Gonna Come’. Most will find it hard – if not impossible – to remain dry-eyed.”