The first footage of the new Jimi Hendrix biopic, “All Is By My Side,” has surfaced and star Andre Benjamin (aka Andre 3000 of the rap duo Outkast) appears to have fully inhabited the late rock star. Watch the two clips below.
The film focuses on Hendrix's early career, chronicling the year he went from a backing musician in New York City to booking the Monterey Pop Festival, which would become a defining moment of his career.
In the first clip, the charismatic Hendrix attempts to talk model Linda Keith (played by Imogen Poots) into traveling with him to Monterey Pop. In the second video, Hendrix explains how his music defies easy labels. “It's not about style. I want my music to go inside the soul of a person,” Hendrix says in the scene.
Benjamin told Rolling Stone that he prepared for the role by watching Hendrix”s mannerisms in interviews, losing weight and taking guitar lessons. Hendrix”s estate did not grant the film permission to use his music, but as a work around, the movie captures Hendrix performing covers that were standards in his set, including songs by the Beatles, Elvis Presley and Muddy Waters.
John Ridley – who just won an Academy Award for his “12 Years a Slave” screenplay – wrote and directed the biopic. “All Is By My Side” first premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival last fall and will make its U.S. debut at South By Southwest this weekend. No word yet on when it will be released in theaters, but Open Road is distributing the film.