Leslie Odom Jr. appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live Wednesday night to perform “Speak Now,” the theme from his new movie One Night in Miami, in which he portrays Sam Cooke.
For his late-night performance, Odom Jr. chose a more contemporary presentation of the song, performing in the desert outside Los Angeles in a pre-recorded rendition. As he sings, “Listen, listen/To the message of hope in the whispers of ghosts,” he wanders into an old Western town, where he joins two dancers posing atop an art installation made of reflective glass. There, he delivers the emotional chorus to “Speak Now,” echoing the message of Cooke’s own “A Change Is Gonna Come.”
One Night in Miami, the directorial debut of actress Regina King, is based on Kemp Powers’ play of the same name (Powers also adapted the screenplay) and depicts a meeting between Sam Cooke, Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali, and Jim Brown at the Hampton House in Miami in February 1964. Kingsley Ben-Adir, Eli Goree, and Aldis Hodge co-star with Odom Jr. as Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali, and Jim Brown, respectively. The movie premiered in theaters on January 8th before premiering on the Amazon Prime Video streaming service a week later, due to the pandemic.
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