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Andre 3000 on Playing Hendrix: ‘What Would Jimi Want People to Know?’

Jimi Hendrix
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

It’s been a few months since we’ve had an update on ‘All Is by My Side,’ the Jimi Hendrix biopic that is currently in production. But in a new interview, star Andre Benjamin, better known as Andre 3000 of the hip-hop group Outkast, spoke about the challenge in playing such a legendary figure.

“I didn’t look at him as an icon,” he said. “Because when you’re in it, you don’t know you’re an icon. You don’t know you’re an icon until another people say you’re an icon.”

Instead, Benjamin decided on a different approach to the character. “So I had to take it as a person, you know what I mean?” he continued. “And I just tried to say, `Well, what would Jimi want people to know that they can’t get off of YouTube?’ And that’s how I approached it.”

‘All Is by My Side,’ which chronicles Hendrix’s arrival in England before he became famous, recently finished shooting in Ireland, and is expected to be released in 2013. The film is being made without the cooperation of the Hendrix family, who have not authorized the use of any of Hendrix’s music for the project. Instead, an all-star session band of Waddy Wachtel, Lee Sklar and Kenny Aronoff, with Benjamin contributing vocals, recorded covers of Beatles and blues songs that Hendrix would have been playing in the clubs at the time.

Next: A Complete 'All is by My Side' Rundown

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