Andre 3000, best known as one half of the hip hop pop duo OutKast, known for their smash hit “Hey Ya,” is set to portray Jimi Hendrix in an upcoming biopic which will focus on the legendary guitar player’s life in England in just before he recorded Are You Experienced?. That album was released in 1967 and changed the game of rock and roll forever, propelling Hendrix into the superstar stratosphere in the process.
Plagued by a few setbacks and loopholes from the Jimi Hendrix estate, the project has finally been greenlit and is due to start shooting in a few weeks in Wickow County and Dublin in Ireland, reports the Irish TV Network (via Rolling Stone).
Andre 3000, who uses his real name Andre Benjamin for his acting endeavors, will star as Hendrix. The pic is to be entitled All is By My Side, and was written and will be directed by John Ridley, who also penned the film Red Tails, which starred Cuba Gooding Jr. and Terence Howard, and which had a narrative that focused on the Tuskegee Airmen.
Benjamin is no stranger to the acting universe. His resume includes roles in Be Cool with John Travolta and Uma Thurman, Four Brothers with Mark Wahlberg, the 1930s period piece Idlewild, and the Will Ferrell comedy Semi-Pro. He also does know how to play guitar, which should at best make his Hendrix poses on the instrument less pretentious than was done in another Hendrix biopic starring another actor that surfaced on Showtime TV a few years ago. That film was marred by low-rent production and an inability to license Hendrix’s music, an element which was crucial to its failure. No word yet if the Hendrix estate has granted All is By My Side to use the songs of Hendrix.
Obviously a project like this is going to cause divided opinion between many fans of the late Hendrix. It remains to be seen of course if the finished product will achieve the respectful and accurate fruition that a project of this undertaking sorely deserves.