On top of his very successful career in hip-hop, Yasiin Bey, who previously went by Mos Def, has also had a thriving acting career. He appeared in movies, sitcoms, and Broadway shows as a child, and his acting career continued through his hip-hop days and after retirement from the music industry. For his latest role, Bey will play jazz legend Thelonious Monk in an upcoming biopic. The film is simply titled Thelonious and it will start shooting next summer.
Bey — who will be doing his first movie since the 2016 French drama Tour De France — shared a statement about the film to Rolling Stone, and it seemed to find him already in character. “A leader.A Lord.A shape in space.A man from a community of devotion who lives a simple life distant from society,” he said in an email to the publication. “The adjectives.can never be nouns.Love.is a verb.The Future has already happened.And Forever.is a current event.Jupiter and team.”
The film’s writer-producer Peter Lord Moreland also explained why he thinks Bey is perfect for the role. “Yasiin lives his life with a vibe not easily found in Hollywood, because he’s not Hollywood, point blank,” he said. “His values and moral compass are intentional and focused on what really matters. Everyone who knows his body of work has seen him boldly transform himself from his music to the Broadway stage, the silver screen and beyond.” He added, “When he looked at me and said, ‘I am Thelonious,’ I knew we had found him.”
A director or other stars for Thelonious have not been revealed yet.