Ne-Yo turns down Martin Luther King Jr. role Says nothing comes before his music.
In an interview with a British newspaper, R&B singer Ne-Yo revealed that he rejected an opportunity to play Martin Luther King Jr. in a new film. The singer turned actor expressed he had to turn the role down because the director wanted him to gain 30 pounds and that went against his efforts to prepare for his new album release.
“I definitely want to do more acting but it’s got to make sense with the music. I recently had to turn down an amazing opportunity to be in a movie playing Martin Luther King. They wanted to start shooting at the time my album R.E.D. comes out and wanted me to gain 30 pounds, so I couldn’t do it. I’m kicking myself but acting can’t take the place of my music. Plus, I’ve been killing myself in the gym for months preparing for this album because I wanted a complete makeover.”
Ne-yo didn’t disclose who the director was or the name of the film. There were at least five projects recently in production that are based on MLK’s life — Paul Greengrass’ Memphis, Oprah’s Winfrey’s America: In the King Years, Wesley Snipes Code Name Zorro, and Lee Daniels’ projects Selma and The Butler. The fact that The Butler is the only film out of the five that seems to be moving forward with casting and other production activities, means it is likely the movie the R&B star is referring to. However, there still exists the chance there is another MLK project that nobody in Hollywood has heard of.
Well it doesn’t matter now because Ne-Yo turned down the role. This is an unfortunate decision due to the fact that it’s not often that singers trying to be actors are given an opportunity to play such an iconic figures.