FILE PHOTO: 71st Primetime Emmy Awards - Arrivals – Los Angeles, California, U.S., September 22, 2019 - Mahershala Ali. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
December 23, 2021
(Corrects Dec 22 story to say film began streaming on Dec 17 rather than Dec 27)
By Alicia Powell
NEW YORK (Reuters) -Double Oscar winner Mahershala Ali has finally found the right project to make his debut as lead actor in a feature film.
Ali, who won Oscars for his supporting roles in “Green Book” and “Moonlight,” is starring in the new drama “Swan Song,” which began streaming on Apple TV+ on Dec. 17.
“Whether you’re leading or supporting or in an ensemble, you’re always trying to look for good material,” Ali said. “And especially being an actor of color in this business and coming up there … if you see yourself a certain way and you want to be of a certain type of ilk … you get stuck in these little weird pockets if you’re not careful.”
“Swan Song” is set in the near future and tells the story of a terminally ill man who gets a chance to duplicate himself to save his family from the sadness of his passing.
While it sounds high tech, co-star Naomie Harris said it’s not a sci-fi movie.
“I think it’s ultimately about love. It’s an ode to love and real love, not the romanticized version of love, but real deep, meaningful love,” Harris said.
The movie is director Benjamin Cleary’s feature film debut. Cleary won an Oscar in 2016 for his short film “Stutterer.”
Cleary hopes “Swan Song” sparks thought-provoking conversations around death.
“I hope it’s getting us to ask, ‘What would what would you do in the situation?’ and starting some interesting emotional conversations for people,” Cleary said.
(Reporting by Alicia Powell; Editing by Leslie Adler)