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The Temptations a Movies

The Temptations a Movies

The Temptations a Movie

Things That Lead to the Downfall of the Main Characters, and of the World As They Know It:

CAST

That the quote wasn’t even in the script, but ad-libbed by Leon in rehearsal, is evidence of the movie’s superb casting. Rounding out the classic Temps lineup were Charles Malik Whitfield (Otis Williams), Terron Brooks (Eddie Kendricks), D.B. Woodside (Melvin Franklin) and Christian Payton (Paul Williams). All the men learned the intricate choreography of the original group, and some sang in the film. (Source: www.billboard.com)

Arkush was thrilled to get an opportunity to have lunch with Robinson early into the production. The legendary Motown songwriter described summoning the Temptations to his piano to teach them a new song he’d written, called “My Girl.”. Arkush relayed the story to the cast, who acted the scene without a script. (Source: www.billboard.com)

In casting the movie, the team looked for actors who were not only talented, but embodied the spirit of the individual Temptations. “I auditioned for Paul [Williams] first, and then Suzanne de Passe said, ‘No, you’re Eddie Kendricks,’” says Brooks, who was a 23-year-old singer without film experience at the time. “I applaud the casting because you could’ve gotten stars to play all the roles, and I think that would’ve diminished the story… You would have to get through looking at these famous people.” (Source: www.billboard.com)

Casting Otis Williams was a challenge. De Passe knew she wanted Charles Malik Whitfield, but the actor was hesitant. “I just knew that, overall, it wasn’t for me because I felt like a real powerful singer should really be in that role,” he says. After some back-and-forth dealings with the studio — former Grey’s Anatomy actor Isaiah Washington was reportedly considered — Whitfield signed on about a week before shooting. “I really had to learn everything on the fly,” he says. “But [actor] Christian Payton is the reason I learned all my dance steps. He’d stay up with me late at night.” (Source: www.billboard.com)

TV

Before getting the gig, director Allan Arkush was a seasoned veteran of musical projects, including the cult classic Rock ‘n’ Roll High School with the Ramones, and episodes of the TV series Fame. Directing The Temptations was especially meaningful because he grew up on the music of Motown. (Source: www.billboard.com)

And the actors feel blessed to be a part of the film’s legacy. “It’s really humbling, I think, for me to have a body of work that stays with people this long,” Brooks says. “They still play it on TV, so it’s just an extraordinary gift.” (Source: www.billboard.com)

 

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