About a young Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American Supreme Court Justice, as he battles through one of his career-defining cases.
Directed by Reginald Hudlin and written by Michael and Jacob Koskoff, the film stars Chadwick Boseman as Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American Supreme Court Justice. It also stars Josh Gad, Kate Hudson, Dan Stevens, Sterling K. Brown and James Cromwell. We sat down with actor Josh Gad to talk his role as Sam Friedman. Check out our interview after the jump.
The Knockturnal: Was there any hesitation in taking the role?
Josh Gad: No, no hesitation whatsoever. In fact, just the opposite. I couldn’t wait to jump at it. I thought it was such an incredible story, an unknown story, about two real-life superheroes and I wanted to jump at the opportunity because I thought it was a story that had to be told.
The Knockturnal: What was the toughest scene for you to film?
Josh Gad: The toughest one was the fight scene. Just because it’s so much about emotion but also about precision, and making sure that you don’t let yourself get so involved that you’re not being technical about what you’re doing at the same time, so you don’t legitimately get hurt. We had to shoot it against a ticking clock. That was really tough, so that was probably the hardest scene.
The Knockturnal: Even though it’s a historic film, do you ever go off-book when you’re doing these types of films; because it’s a historic background, do you ever go off feelings sometimes?
Josh Gad: Yeah, for sure. The movie was sort of a miracle because we shot this film in 30 days, and it’s a 140-page script, which is unheard of. There wasn’t necessarily time to do a lot of improv. The luxury that we had, which I am eternally grateful for, is a rehearsal process that allowed Chad, Sterling, Kate, myself, Dan Stevens, to some extent, to actually work through a lot of the beats so that we could find alternatives, so that we could find the truth in the words and make sure that we really topped every scene to the best of its abilities. Having said that, the script itself by Michael and Jay Koskoff was so good that it really didn’t require much tweaking.
The Knockturnal: What about your character do you admire? What made you want to take the role?
Josh Gad: What about him don’t I admire? I keep saying this real-life hero thing because it really rings true for me. These are two men who were facing enormous adversity, had absolutely no reason to put themselves in the line of fire in such a public manner, but did so to defend one man who otherwise would have been dealt a huge injustice. And now, more than ever, I think that those alliances are so imperative. I think that men like Thurgood Marshall and Sam Friedman – we need those people out there. We need those people every day. The fight has not ended. The NAACP is working overtime these days. I think that these are issues that, while they’ve been debated, have not been resolved. I think that we need to keep having the hard discussions and we need to keep inspiring the next generation of great civil rights lawyers who will go out there and who will do the hard, the tough work.
The film hits theaters on October 13.