André 3000 has credited his role as tragic rocker Jimi Hendrix in an upcoming biopic with saving him from a deep depression following the death of his mother last year.
The Outkast star was left devastated when his mom, Sharon Benjamin Hodo, was found dead at her Georgia home, a day after his 38th birthday, but he admits having to focus on preparing to play the late music icon in the movie Jimi: All Is by My Side helped to prevent him from wallowing in his grief.
André 3000, who also lost his father, Laurence Walker, nine months later, tells the New York Times, “Honestly… Hendrix kind of saved me. I was in a not-so-great space, just in a dark place every day. I needed something to focus on to get me out of my depression and rut. Sometimes, when you’re alone, you can let yourself go. I knew if I got on a train with a lot of different people, then I couldn’t let them down.”
André also reveals he almost missed out on the chance to portray Hendrix, who died at 27, because he was convinced he was too old for the job.
He recalls, “I may have said it to John (Ridley, director): ‘Man, I’m old. I have grey hair. Get some young unknown kid to play Hendrix.’ I turned it down. (But) they kept at it.”
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