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When it comes to making it in Hollywood, Canadian born actor Stephan James believes it’s a marathon not a sprint. The 22-year-old has already landed plum roles in the Book of Negroes, When The Game Stands Tall and Selma, and now he’s taking on his first leading role in the Jesse Owens biopic, Race.

The film, which follows the track and field star as he breaks down racial barriers to win 4 gold medals in the 1936 Olympic games, couldn’t come at a more perfect time as African Americans in Hollywood are calling for more equality and recognition. 

HipHollywood caught up with James about how he’s been handling the diversity issue, and stepping into the shoes of the fastest man on earth. Race, which also stars Jason Sudeikis and Jeremy Irons, is in theaters February 19th.

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