Today André Benjamin, aka André 3000, joins us to talk about portraying legendary guitarist Jimi Hendrix in the new biopic, Jimi: All Is By My Side.
What was it like learning how to play like Hendrix?
"I had to learn everything from playing behind my back to playing with my teeth to rolling around on the ground playing. I watched all the footage and I mimicked everything to a T, just to have it in the arsenal, just in case we needed it.
One of the hardest parts [was] I’m a right-hand guitar player. I’m a horrible right-hand guitar player. I wouldn’t even call myself a guitar player; I just pick it up and fiddle with it every now and then. And I think any guitar player would agree with me, Jimi is the most comfortable-looking guitar player in the world. I’ve seen a lot of great guitarists that are probably much better skilled than Jimi Hendrix, but some players look like they’re doing a task or … putting in a lot of work, giving a lot of effort. One thing about Jimi, he never looked like it was uncomfortable to him. …
When it came time to do the left-hand thing, I almost had to [do] finger choreography, learning where the chords are, learning the actual chords of the song with my left hand, learning where the notes are, learning how my fingers should lay. But it was really, really difficult, because it’s almost like walking backwards and making walking backwards look normal.”