Forest Whitaker has played real-life characters before, and he’s obviously very good at it: He won his Academy Award for playing Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in The Last King of Scotland. Of course, playing a well-known real-life character means there are plenty of opportunities to learn more about the role you’ll be playing. Whitaker’s latest role is that of ’60s crime boss Bumpy Johnson on the new TV series Godfather of Harlem. It’s not the first time Johnson’s been immortalized on the screen — he was a central character in the film American Gangster. We spoke to Whitaker about the role, and we asked how much he knew about the real-life Bumpy Johnson before taking the part. (Click on the media bar below to hear Forest Whitaker)
Godfather of Harlem premieres September 29 on Epix.