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Mahershala Ali & John David Washington Discuss Preparing for 'Green Book' & 'BlacKkKlansman' - Watch Now!

Mahershala Ali and John David Washington are on the cover of Variety‘s Actors on Actors issue, out now.

Here’s what the 44-year-old Green Book actor and the 34-year-old BlacKkKlansman star had to say…

John, on preparing for BlacKkKlansman: “I rid myself of all hip-hop, R&B, EDM. And the Cranberries as well, I love them. Steady diets of War, of Sly & the Family Stone, Led Zeppelin. This was for three months. I would go to bed to Soul Train every night, I would watch Super Fly weekly and saw what that was doing to my spirit. What that was going to my psyche, how I was talking, maybe even how I was posturing. And that was all prior to talking to Ron [Stallworth]. I’ve never experienced anything like that, the kind of preparation that Spike [Lee] introduced me to.”

Mahershala, on preparing for Green Book:Green Book came, and the characters really popped off the page. I thought there’s a chemistry in the writing that was there. I thought the story was important. What I thought was amazing about Don Shirley was that he was an archetype, a person that I had never seen before on-screen. Usually when we go back pre-1975 or especially pre-civil rights, we are clearly in this place of oppression. That exists in this film, but I think my character is the most empowered you could be in that time. This is a guy who is the boss in that car. Because he didn’t even have to go on the tour. He could go to Europe, make his money, have his career. He could stay up North, but him going down into the South was a choice. He wanted to put himself on the front lines in his own unique way and allow people to be exposed to the type of man, the type of black man, that he was in order to sort of pierce the consciousness so that they couldn’t just think of us as sharecroppers.”

For more from Mahershala and John, head to Variety.com. Watch their conversation below!

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Hailee Steinfeld, Jake Johnson, & Shameik Moore Attend 'Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse' Photo Call

Jake Johnson, Shameik Moore, and Hailee Steinfeld strike a pose at the Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse photo call!

The 40-year-old New Girl actor, the 23-year-old The Get Down star, and the 21-year-old Bumblebee actress joined forces at the event held at Four Seasons Hotel at Beverly Hills on Friday (November 30) in Los Angeles.

Donning a plunging grey pantsuit, Hailee also was joined by her co-stars Mahershala Ali, Luna Lauren Velez, Brian Tyree Henry, Lily Tomlin, and more.

“Very excited to talk about @SpiderVerse and #SpiderGwen today. 💕,” Hailee captioned the Twitter video below that same day.

The animated film follows Spider-Man as he crosses parallel dimensions and teams up with the Spider-Men of those dimensions to stop a threat to all reality. Don’t miss it when it hits theaters on December 14!

ICYMI, listen to Hailee‘s new song “Back to Life.”

FYI: Hailee is wearing an Acler suit, Casadei shoes, and an APM Monaco ring. Shameik is wearing Rhude. Mahershala is wearing Jimmy Choo sunglasses.

10+ pictures inside of Hailee Steinfeld and more at the photo call… More Here! »

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Mahershala Ali Reveals He Ditched A Rap Record Deal for Acting on 'Fallon'!

Mahershala Ali made an appearance on last night’s (November 19) episode of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and explained why his name is actually a nickname.

“My name is 18 letters long. It’s the longest word in the Bible, Mahershalalhashbaz, Isaiah chapter 8, verse 1 and 3,” the 44-year-old actor told Jimmy.

PHOTOS: Check out the latest pics of Mahershala Ali

“Yeah, so Mahershala is my nickname. People say, you know, “What’s your nickname?” I’m like, “Mahershala is my nickname,’” he revealed.

Jimmy also called out Mahershala for his past life as a rapper under the moniker Prince Ali and took him by surprise. “I’m retired, brother! I’m retired,” Mahershala said – Watch below!


Mahershala Ali Ditched a Rap Record Deal for Acting

Lupita Nyong'o, John Krasinski & More Join Forces at Variety Studio: Actors on Actors 2018!

Lupita Nyong’o, John Krasinski and Rosamund Pike strike a pose backstage at day two of Variety’s 2018 Actors on Actors Awards Studio on Sunday (November 18) at Goya Studios in Los Angeles.

The three stars were joined at the event by Green Book‘s Mahershala Ali and Viggo Mortensen, BlacKkKlansman‘s John David Washington, Melissa McCarthy, The Wife‘s Glenn Close, A Star is Born‘s Sam Elliott, Black Panther‘s Chadwick Boseman, If Beale Street Could Talk‘s Regina King, and The Kindergarten Teacher‘s Maggie Gyllenhaal.

Each year, Variety Studios features exclusive one-on-one conversations with actors and actresses from the year’s most notable films who are expected to contend this Awards season.

Clips from the event will appear on Variety.com starting at the beginning of December with full episodes to premiere on PBS SoCal KOCE (and will stream on pbssocal.org) beginning on Tuesday, January 8th.

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Green Book's Mahershala Ali & Viggo Mortensen Suit Up for Governors Awards 2018

Mahershala Ali and Viggo Mortensen are looking handsome at the 2018 Governors Awards on Sunday night (November 18) at the Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood.

The guys star in the new movie Green Book and their director Peter Farrelly also stepped out for the event.

Some more celebs in attendance at the event included At Eternity’s Gate‘s Willem Dafoe, The Sisters BrothersJohn C. Reilly with wife and producer Alison Dickey, and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse voice actor Shameik Moore.

The Academy hands out honorary Oscars each year at the Governors Awards and potential nominees for the upcoming awards are given a chance to mingle with voters.

FYI: Mahershala is wearing Ermenegildo Zegna Couture.

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