Earlier than he grew to become an Oscar-nominated actor, Don Cheadle truly envisioned a profession in jazz music. So within the newest installment of VF’s video collection A Listing, accomplished previous to the SAG-AFTRA strike, contributing editor Franklin Leonard asks Cheadle to checklist his favourite jazz solos—from Miles Davis (whom Cheadle performed within the biopic Miles Forward, which he additionally directed) to Oscar Peterson.
Cheadle additionally had some amusing early credit, together with a one-episode visitor function on The Recent Prince of Bel-Air as “Ice Tray,” certainly one of Will Smith’s pals from Philadelphia. Regardless of the comparatively temporary look, Cheadle was truly tapped to guide a by-product, NBC’s Within the Home, within the early ‘90s. “I shot a pilot. I feel you’ll be able to truly discover it on-line,” Cheadle says. Spoiler alert: you positive can. In one other occasion of Cheadle’s two worlds colliding, he even wrote the present’s intro tune. “Once more, I by no means fully dropped the concept of music. It was all the time within the sidecar,” he says. “And I wished to take a crack on the theme tune. They’re like, ‘Go forward.’ I don’t know that finally we might’ve used it, however I’m singing and also you hear it.”
Greater than a decade later, Cheadle would earn his first Academy Award nomination for Resort Rwanda, through which he performed real-life lodge supervisor Paul Rusesabagina, who sheltered refugees through the 1994 Rwandan genocide. “Properly, the expertise was one factor and what it did for my profession was one factor, however what dwarfed that in some ways is what it triggered so far as me being an activist,” Cheadle says. It was throughout this time, the actor explains, that he realized the facility his platform as a public individual held. Says Cheadle, “To have the sunshine is to make use of the sunshine.”
Cheadle’s newest function locations him again within the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Rhodey within the Disney+ collection, Secret Invasion. Though it’s an element Cheadle has performed a number of occasions since 2010’s Iron Man 2, it was the primary mission the place he’s labored reverse fellow MCU stalwart Samuel L. Jackson. “I feel it was his fault, personally. If I’m gonna lay blame at someone’s toes, I feel he was scared,” Cheadle quips, earlier than earnestly including, “Sam and I’ve been pals for a few years. We golf collectively. I’ve seen him onstage. Sam’s an excellent actor. No B.S. We had a good time.”
In relation to his subsequent function, Cheadle’s profession philosophy stays the identical: “There is no such thing as a plan. You retain your head down, you retain working. I feel I’ve been very lucky that the issues I used to be drawn to went and that I’ve been blessed and been very proper place, proper time.”
Watch Leonard’s full dialog with Cheadle above.