It may have taken 10 years to do it, but Don Cheadle is actually grateful for the extra time he had to hone his unique vision for Miles Ahead, the film about Miles Davis he wrote, produced, directed and stars in. Sony Pictures Classics brought Cheadle and the movie to our big annual awards-season event, The Contenders Presented By Deadline, last month at the DGA theater.

contenders-2

In front of a packed audience of Oscar and key guild voters, Cheadle explained he didn’t want to do a traditional “cradle to grave” Hollywood biopic, but instead decided to focus on a mid-1970s period where Davis was actually somewhat inactive, or out of the public eye. As a creator that interested him, as well as the challenge of being authentic to his subject matter. He also talks about constantly re-working the script while trying to get financing, and about how he prepared by always carrying the trumpet and mouthpiece with him as he traveled to the soul of one of the all-time greats.

Check out my conversation with Cheadle above.