NATCHEZ, MISSISSIPPI. If you greet biopics with a certain amount of trepidation, "Get On Up" director Tate Taylor is right there with you.
"I’ve never been a big fan of biopics," the well-dressed helmer of "The Help" tells a pair of visiting reporters, pausing between shots in mid-December, more than eight months before the scheduled August 1, 2014 release date.
"The last one I really loved was 'Coal Miner’s Daughter.' I loved that," Taylor continues.
"Coal Miner's Daughter," which won an Oscar for Sissy Spacek, opened in 1980.
"For me I think what makes them successful is I approached this as, 'This is a movie about an amazing man. And, oh yeah, he’s James Brown.' That’s how I approached this, is who he was and what made him the man he was," Taylor explains. "And what I honed in on, what I thought was special is you can usually do a movie about someone’s drive to succeed and how they got there but what I think’s interesting about James Brown, is he didn’t want to go backwards. And that’s a fear, I think, I have and a lot of people relate to. Everybody can relate to that and that’s what made me think it would be accessible for audiences regardless of the music, is that fear of, 'Oh my gosh, what if this all goes away?' Not, 'Oh, I’ve done enough and I can coast.' Some people, they don’t want it to go away. And that’s what I really wanted to focus in on what it takes to keep it where you are and then reinvent yourself over and over and over."