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Boris Kodjoe Says There's An Arthur Ashe Project Circulating & He Wants To Star In It

by Tambay A. Obenson
September 17, 2012 10:56 AM
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In case you didn't know, Boris Kodjoe is a pretty good tennis player; in fact, he attended college on a tennis scholarship, where he was a 4-year letterman, and amassed 75 career singles wins.

Apparently, a back injury ended Boris' tennis aspirations; but he's done fairly well for himself since that happened, with modeling and acting.

So maybe it shouldn't be a big surprise that he'd like to play tennis legend (the first and only black man to win a singles title at Wimbledon, the US Open, and the Australian Open) Arthur Ashe.

In an interview with (while plugging Resident Evil: Retribution, which he co-stars in, and which opened over the weekend), Kodjoe revealed that he's a big fan of Ashe, and considers him one of his heroes. He further mentions that there is an Arthur Ashe script in circulation, that Ashe's wife is involved with in some capacity, that he feels needs to be "investigated," and that, of course, he (Boris) should play Ashe. 

He then added that there are a lot of film industry people who are fans of tennis; specifically, he names David Fincher as one of those filmmakers who loves the sport. So of course, I had to wonder if maybe that was a nod to what director he'd like helming the project (with him starring in it), if it were to happen.

"It's a very important story that should be told," Kodjoe said, and I'm sure most of us would agree on that. Ashe was not only an athlete, he used his notoriety to further various social causes he deemed important.

The question is whether we all agree that Boris is the man for the part. Obviously, in terms of authenticity, he certainly can play the game (given his history and interest in the sport), so there wouldn't be any concern as to whether he'd be believable as a tennis player. 

But there's more to playing Arthur Ashe than that.

What do you guys think?

Watch the interview below:

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  • ALM | September 19, 2012 11:03 PMReply

    Nope, unless he is going to take some MAJOR acting lessons and do some MAJOR research on the role. Playing tennis well is not enough.

  • urbanauteur | September 17, 2012 9:47 PMReply

    Jermaine (Dukie of HBO's The Wire fame) Crawford would be perfect! for Ashe.

  • lauren | September 17, 2012 5:44 PMReply

    Sigh... too bad he doesn't act as good as he looks.

  • Tonya | September 17, 2012 5:33 PMReply

    Please tell me Boris is joking? I laughed thru this whole article.

  • Donella | September 17, 2012 5:11 PMReply

    I understand Kodjoe's respect and view of Ashe as a hero. Ashe was a hero to me too. I was a tennis player before Venus and Serena hit the world with their best shots and so Ashe was the role model for me when I first stepped onto the court. Like Ava mentioned below, Ashe was a quiet force who not only broke through the unspoken barriers in a country club sport, but was also a humanitarian. Would love to see a movie of his life so everyone can know and understand how tall he stood.

  • Ava | September 17, 2012 4:57 PMReply

    I am a big tennis fan and a great admirer of Arthur Ashe. I only knew of him from his days of commentary for Wimbledon broadcasts that I used to watch faithfully as a child during the 80s. Though decades apart in age, we share a birthday. Funny, I've never thought of anyone playing him in a movie. There really hasn't been a truly good film about tennis players since Alfred Hitchcock's Strangers On A Plane, I think. Woody Allen's Matchpoint was fine but eh...somehow tennis was center yet peripheral at the same time. Sort of a pretext to the story. I believe Boris Kodjoe is a lover of tennis, he is even friends with that other German Boris (Becker) who is legendary in pro tennis circles...still Kodjoe as Arthur Ashe. I don't see Donald Glover, either. Isn't Glover a bit too...short? Arthur Ashe was tall and lanky. He exuded a quiet confidence and an elegant surety in every stride. The man was the very definition of the term "Still waters run deep". More than the playing technique, any actor portraying him needs to have that down pat in the body language or they should not bother trying. And as much as AIDS is a part of his life's story and should indeed be included, his scholarly work as well as his humanitarian work and his talent as a gifted coach and mentor (he discovered Yannick Noah, a French/Cameroonian player and the last Frenchman to win a Grand Slam tournament in 1983). This man was truly a renaissance man and very complex and deserves no less than the right actor and the right script and direction in any film of his life story.

  • Orville | September 17, 2012 4:45 PMReply

    I think Boris is a bit too old for the project he's almost forty so I don't see how that is going to work. Now if the movie was about Arthur Ashe when he was older maybe. But I am not sure if Boris is right for the part he's also very muscular and Arthur was a very slim man.

  • Man-Over-Bored | September 17, 2012 2:58 PMReply

    Great-sounding project! Just say "No" to Kodjoe!

  • JMac | September 17, 2012 2:35 PMReply

    Heck no.

  • ChgoSista | September 17, 2012 1:12 PMReply

    Overly-ambitious on Mr. Kodjoe's part--to say the LEAST. Sheesh...

  • Boomslang | September 17, 2012 11:21 AMReply

    I think his acting skills are terrible. He certainly has a good agent . Tennis can taught , get Donald Glover on board. Boris is as bland mackerel fish. And if they get it off the ground , then AIDS should definetely be a part of the narrative .

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