Netflix reveals new look at Colman Domingo in ‘Rustin’

Written by on July 19, 2023

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“Rustin” is on the way. The highly anticipated biopic on the life of Bayard Rustin is coming to Netflix later this year, with Colman Domingo starring as the late civil rights activist and George C. Wolfe tapping in as director.

Netflix released brand new photos from the film in a Vanity Fair profile this week, highlighting Domingo as Rustin, Audra McDonald as Ella Baker, Aml Ameen as Martin Luther King and more. As theGrio previously reported, the film is a deep dive into the life of “the brilliant strategist behind 1963’s momentous March On Washington and close advisor to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” who “dedicated his life to the tireless quest for racial equality, human rights, and worldwide democracy,” per the official description.

The upcoming film “Rustin” features Colman Domingo (center) as Bayard Rustin and CCH Pounder (left) as Dr. Anna Hedgeman, among others. (Photo credit: David Lee/Netflix © 2022)

“He was this big thinker and an incredible organizer, and he was influential to not only Dr. King, but all these other young people as well,” Domingo said in the article. “We owe a lot to Bayard Rustin. I think it’s part of my mission to make sure that hopefully, come this fall, there will never be that question again, who Bayard Rustin was.”

Domingo, who is openly gay, also spoke about the role and what it means to authentically tackle a figure who was both Black and gay, saying that Black queer men are typically “not in the center” of their own stories.

“That’s the truth … I can access things in a unique way and specifically for the character, of course, but there is a fearlessness to find that vulnerability and bring that part of myself to it as well.” He added, “I don’t have to reach so far outside of my experience, but I can pull from within. It’s being guided by someone who’s also an openly gay, openly queer Black male as well. I think that is very unique.”

Vanity Fair also describes the film as showcasing Rustin “as a complete person” with sexual desire and not just a “footnote” in history books. “He claimed all of who he was,” Wolfe told the outlet. “He knew he needed to use all of who he was to overcome that which needed to be overcome. It’s both so crucial and so simple. You are who you are, and you need all of who you are to be the best version of you, period.”

TheGrio previously reported that Higher Ground Productions, former President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama’s production company, is producing the film. In addition to McDonald and Ameen, Chris Rock joins the cast as Roy Wilkins, Glynn Turman stars as A. Philip Randolph and CCH Pounder portrays Dr. Anna Hedgeman.

For more on the “Rustin” photos, you can read the Vanity Fair piece here.

“Rustin” premieres in select theaters Nov. 3 and on Netflix globally Nov. 17.

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