Rolling Stones front­man too busy to gather any moss

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - ENTERTAINMENT - By Mes­fin Fekadu

NEW YORK — Song cred­its won’t be the lat­est place to fea­ture Mick Jag­ger’s name. In­stead, look to up­com­ing films and TV shows. The Rolling Stones front­man has been busy pro­duc­ing projects, from this year’s James Brown biopic Get on Up to a not-yet-ti­tled HBO se­ries di­rected by Martin Scors­ese. Jag­ger is also be­hind the HBO doc­u­men­tary Mr. Dy­na­mite: The Rise of James Brown, which de­buts Mon­day at 8 p.m. The rock icon said he was asked to pro­duce the doc­u­men­tary be­fore the film. “I was re­ally in­ter­ested, but I was kind of a bit doc­u­men­tary-ed out at that point,” the 71-year-old says, ex­plain­ing that he was asked to pro­duce Mr. Dy­na­mite around the time he fin­ished work­ing on the 2012 Stones’ doc­u­men­tary, Cross­fire Hur­ri­cane. “It’s very time-con­sum­ing ... but I said, ‘Yeah and I’d re­ally like to do the doc­u­men­tary.’ Then I woke up the next morn­ing and thought a fea­ture film would be a great idea.” Jag­ger asked Os­car-win­ning di­rec­tor Alex Gib­ney to work on the doc­u­men­tary, which takes an over­ar­ch­ing look at the God­fa­ther of Soul’s life. Brown died in 2006, at 73. “The fact that we were do­ing it after Mr. Brown had passed al­lowed peo­ple to be a lit­tle bit more free about talk­ing about him,” Gib­ney says. Jag­ger’s other up­com­ing pro­duc­tion projects in­clude the films Tabloid and The Tiny Prob­lems of White Peo­ple with Colin Firth. He’ll play resched­uled dates with the Stones in Aus­tralia start­ing Satur­day, and said in a re­cent in­ter­view that his pro­duc­tion du­ties have helped him deal with his tu­mul­tuous year fol­low­ing the sui­cide of his long­time part­ner, L’Wren Scott. AP: What was your re­la­tion­ship with James Brown? Jag­ger: I’m not claim­ing that we were bud­dies (laughs), but I met him early on in my ca­reer. When I first came to New York… I went to the Apollo and I spent the day there ... I in­tro­duced my­self to him, I’m sure he had no clue (who I was) ... But he was very, very nice to me. Very gen­er­ous. AP: How in­flu­en­tial was Brown? Jag­ger: He was such a big in­flu­ence on all kinds of mu­sic. He was in­flu­en­tial on per­form­ers that came later, like Michael Jack­son, Prince, and then the be­gin­ning of hip hop and so forth. But he was also in­flu­en­tial (on) ev­ery band, ev­ery rock band, (they) didn’t nec­es­sar­ily play all James Brown num­bers, but we all knew them. AP: The doc­u­men­tary fo­cuses on his mu­sic and ac­tivism, but it also touches on do­mes­tic vi­o­lence, which was glossed over in the film. Jag­ger: I think Alex wanted to con­cen­trate re­ally on the two ar­eas (mu­sic and ac­tivism) ... with­out ig­nor­ing the other ar­eas. We could have made a whole movie (on), ‘Was James Brown a drug ad­dict and wife abuser?’ but that’s the neg­a­tiv­ity and I don’t think you want to be ... white-wash­ing peo­ple, but you don’t want to be turn­ing up their neg­a­tive side. And re­ally we wanted to ex­plore James Brown the mu­si­cian, the per­former. We wanted to ex­plore James Brown the ac­tivist, be­cause those we re­ally in­ter­est­ing times. AP: What other mu­si­cians would you like to do a doc­u­men­tary about? Jag­ger: I have been asked to be in­volved in pro­duc­ing a movie on an ado­les­cent Elvis… so that’s in the works. And I’m do­ing a se­ries on HBO which is very much mu­sic-ori­en­tated. It’s fic­tional drama. The lead character is the owner of a record company and it’s about his life. AP: Are you go­ing to ap­pear in it? Jag­ger: I’m not in it. It’s a story I worked on with Marty (Scors­ese). ... It was go­ing to be a movie and then we made it into a TV se­ries. ... The ac­tion starts in 1973 in New York so it’s a kind of a weird time be­cause it’s like the be­gin­ning of punk, the very be­gin­ning of hip hop and so a lot is go­ing on. AP: This has been an emo­tional year for you. How are you do­ing? Jag­ger: I’m do­ing fine… Ev­ery­one’s been kind to me. My fam­ily’s been very sup­port­ive, you know. I’ve had a lot of work to do so that’s kept me, you know, in a good way. So I’m fine.

EVAN AGOS­TINI/IN­VI­SION

Mick Jag­ger at the world première of the James Brown biopic Get On Up, which he pro­duced.

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