Back in 2004, in discussing the project with the New York Daily News, he said he wanted to capture Hendrix’s duality: “Jimi was wild onstage,” Andre said. “Offstage, he was really calm.” The rap star, whose real name is Andre Benjamin, certainly looks serene in the early photos (except, ahem, when he realizes he’s being photographed). More pics below.
The fact that production has begun in earnest is a sign that the project isn’t being held up by objections from Hendrix’s estate. If it does make it all the way to the silver screen, it wouldn’t be the first time a film depicting the superstar had to make do without authorized, original music. Showtime’s made-for-TV biopic Hendrix, released in 2000, used covers of several songs (though it was poorly received).
Early reports say the film, directed by John Ridley, traces Hendrix’s life in England in 1966-67, when he recorded his classic debut album, Are You Experienced?. Set to star alongside Andre 3000 are Hayley Atwell (who appeared in Captain America: First Avenger) and Imogen Poots (Fright Night).
All that’s clear from the photos, really, is that Andre seems fully immersed, right down to his flared red pants.