Director Barry Jenkins felt pressure living up to the voice of If Beale Street Could Talk author James Baldwin with his film adaptation.
The moviemaker adapted Baldwin’s 1974 novel for his latest love story, about a pregnant woman who seeks to clear the name of her partner after he is falsely accused of rape and prove his innocence before the birth of their child.
The project marks Jenkins’ follow-up to his 2016 drama Moonlight, which scored three Oscars, including Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Picture. When asked if he felt pressure living up to the success of Moonlight with his new movie, Jenkins admitted to WENN/Cover Media that the pressure actually came from the challenge of adapting Baldwin’s novel.
“No, not really. I wrote the screenplay at the same time I wrote the screenplay for Moonlight so it already existed so the project was already happening even before all the awards things,” he said on the red carpet at the BAFTAs. “The big pressure was to live up to the voice of James Baldwin, to me that was as much pressure as anything.”
The 39-year-old attended the British ceremony in London on Sunday (10Feb19) with his If Beale Street Could Talk star Regina King, and when asked about her being snubbed by BAFTA in the Best Supporting Actress category, he simply shrugged and said, “I’m not a BAFTA member so I have no say in that.”
Mahershala Ali, who won an Oscar for Moonlight, took home a BAFTA for Best Supporting Actor for Green Book on Sunday, and said Moonlight will always have a special place in his heart because it’s opened so many doors for him.
“I wouldn’t have got this part (in Green Book) without Moonlight which for me was truly a miracle as there was never a film like that up until that point,” he said. “I absolutely love (character) Juan, I love Moonlight, it has a special place in my heart because it’s led to so many other opportunities so that will always be extraordinarily special to me, that experience.”
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