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Exclusive: Andre Benjamin Reveals How He Became Jimi Hendrix



The often reclusive Andre Benjamin has returned to the spotlight in 2014, stepping into the shoes of rock legend Jimi Hendrix in the upcoming film, Jimi: All is By My Side.

HipHollywood caught up with Benjamin on the red carpet for the film’s premiere to find out how he went from rap legend to rock legend.

“I read a couple of biographies, watched him do some interviews on American television just so I could get his mannerisms down,” explained Benjamin. “So I just took as much found information as I could get my hands on and did my impersonation or my take on Hendrix.”

Benjamin also learned how to play the guitar with his left hand, and went on a strict diet to play the rock star who died at the tender age of 27 years old. Director John Ridley told us he chose to focus on Hendrix’s life from 1966-1967, just as he was making his mark on the London music scene and emerging into an international rock star.

“I wanted to spend as much time as possible examining the individual instead of framing 27 years into 2 hours,” explained Ridley, who also wrote 12 Years a Slave. “I think with this film people will come away with a deeper understanding of this individual, as opposed to us giving them things they already know.”

Jimi: All Is By My Side hits theaters September 26th. So what’s next for Benjamin? He told us he’s not sure yet, but more music from Outkast is not in the plans.

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