As fans await the exciting release of the new SuperFly remake, we had the pleasure of catching up with actor Jason Mitchell (The Chi) to discuss his character in the movie and filming the project in Atlanta.
The 31-year-old talent has consistently seen success in a number of recent films, having starred in one of the greatest hip-hop movies of his time, Straight Outta Compton, portraying the role of hip-hop legend Eazy-E. As of recently, he’s received critical acclaim for his roles in Detroit and Mudbound (opposite Mary J. Blige), of which he received multiple awards and countless nominations. Now, the extraordinary actor stars in the new Superfly movie. He describes being a part of the Superfly legacy as “handing down a generation of hope.”
“You work hard to be able to say something,” Mitchell explains. “People see that and they’re like, ‘Oh my God, that’s lit to have that opportunity to pass the nostalgia… When Joel called me and was like, ‘We need you in this movie,’ that’s crazy to me. Who thought SuperFly and they were like, ‘Jason Mitchell, we gotta have him.”
One of the skills that inherently comes to mind when you think of Jason Mitchell is his ability to dive into a character and make it overwhelmingly believable. His range has proven to span far and wide, convincing the audience that he is, in fact, who he claims to be, if only for the duration of the film and sometimes beyond. Jason — who plays the role of Youngblood in Superfly, Priest’s best friend Eddie — talks about fans who have a hard time separating him from the roles he’s played in the past and why this one means so much to him. “He was just loyal,” Mitchell recalls about Eddie. “It was special to me for real because everyone has seen me be everything but myself… When I tell people I’m from New Orleans they’re like, ‘You’re not from L.A.?”
While he definitely appreciates the fact that people connected so well with his interpretation of Eazy-E in Straight Outta Compton, Mitchell voices his delight in being able to play someone from his side of the tracks. “It was a beautiful thing to be able to be in a film and really just do me –– have my own voice.”
The 1970’s original takes place on the East Coast, centering around Harlem’s underworld drug business. This year’s remake saw a change in location to Atlanta, and according to Mitchell, it was very necessary. “It feels so liberating,” he explains. “If you were dope in New York back then, you were dope all over the world, but if you’re dope in Atlanta right now the whole world knows you.” “This is like the new black mecca.” Jason believed that the film venue needed relocating to keep up with the change in culture, and the decision pays off.
With a barrage of celebrity rap appearances throughout the film, combined with the Future-curated soundtrack, Superfly is definitely set to reach the new generation in a big way, and promises to offer a sweet reminiscent vibe for fans of the original classic. If there’s one movie you should catch this summer, it’s this one.
Superfly is in theaters now!