Trending Topics

Jamie, Denzel, Angela? Debate Breaks Out Over Who Portrayed Their Real-Life Figures the Best

With COVID-19 still spreading, recent cases of police brutality occurring, and a current presidential election campaign cycle, there have been a lot of serious online debates raging.

But a fun, playful discussion broke out on Twitter Wednesday, June 24, about which Black actor portrayed their role the best in a biopic in which they starred.

A Twitter debate broke out over which Black actor portrayed his real-life figure the best, and (from left) Denzel Washington, Jamie Foxx and Angela Bassett were all in the running as top contenders. (Photos: Kevin Winters/Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images, Mike Windle/Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images, Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic via Getty Images)

Some of the names tossed around include Denzel Washington’s portrayal of Malcolm X, Jamie Foxx playing Ray Charles, Chadwick Boseman as James Brown, and Morgan Freeman playing Nelson Mandela.

Other actors and their roles were mentioned like Angela Bassett‘s portrayal of Tina Turner in 1993’s “What’s Love Got to Do with It.” There were a large number of people who decided to join the debate.

“Jamie Foxx and Angela Bassett had a whole generation thinking they were Ray Charles and Tina Turner,” one person tweeted. “That’s called method acting. Denzel is runner up though.”

Bassett’s co-star in the film, Laurence Fishburne, was praised for his role as Ike Turner. Bassett took home a Golden Globe for her part as Tina Turner, and she and Fishburne were nominated for Oscars in 1994.

“I still forget that Laurence Fishburne isn’t Ike Turner sometimes,” someone tweeted.

Foxx playing Ray Charles got many of the votes. The actor, comedian, and singer won a Best Actor Academy Award for the part in 2005. But other actors were also named in the debate for nailing the real-life figures they took on.

“Chadwick came mad close with James Brown,” read one of the comments.

“Can’t believe y’all left out Will Smith in Ali. He should be in the conversation!” read another.

Washington playing Malcolm X received a high number of votes, and some said he was Foxx’s runner-up. But others disagreed.

“Denzel is the obvious top pick here,” one person tweeted. “The performance was incredible. People still share pics and get tattoos of Denzel playing MX, thinking that it’s really MX.”

One person tweeted an example of someone getting such a tattoo and wrote, “One of my Caucasian friends couldn’t wait to show me his new Malcolm X tattoo, I just didn’t have the heart to tell him.”

What people are saying

Back to top