Colman Domingo stars alongside Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, which hits Netflix on December 18 after its limited theatrical release. In addition to his acting work in films like If Beale Street Could Talk, Assassination Nation, Zola, and the upcoming Candyman, Domingo brings a wealth of experience as a writer, director, producer and actor on the stage, making him an obvious choice for Ma Rainey, which is based on the August Wilson play. I talked about the film with Domingo over Zoom, as well as his acting influences, his camaraderie with the late Chadwick Boseman, and what film lovers might get out of George C. Wolfe’s latest directorial effort.
If you told me there was a movie being made about Ma Rainey, the legendary blues singer who inspired the likes of Bessie Smith and Langston Hughes, I’d sit back and buckle in for a jazz-filled good time. If you told me the movie was based off a play written by August Wilson of Fences fame, I would immediately unbuckle myself to go and grab a pair of tissues.