SGranitz, WireImage Anyone with "Grammy-winning artist" in their bio is…
- Posted on Oct 27th 2010 2:00PM by Pat Pemberton
Philip Ryalls, Redferns
"I've been wanting to play that role since I was like 8 or 9 years old," Glover tells Spinner. "I saw Carl Anderson in the movie doing it, and I was like, 'That's what I want to do. I want to sing like that. I want to sound like that, and I want to do that.' And to do it with Ted Neeley, who was in the movie as well, I couldn't resist."
Those who remember Living Colour's 'Cult of Personality' video from the '80s might seem surprised to hear Glover had taken to acting, but the singer has split his career passions between music and acting since he was a kid. Officially, singing was first -- at the age of 6. Acting came in his teens, when he began appearing in TV commercials, but his first big break in the entertainment industry came in 1986, when he auditioned for -- and won -- the part of Francis in Oliver Stone's 'Platoon.' At the time, he was still new to Living Colour.
"We were still doing club stuff," he says. "And I told them, 'I'm going away for a couple of months, and I'll be back.'"
Things worked out, and two years later, Living Colour -- thanks to help from Mick Jagger, who produced their first album -- had a hit record and video with 'Cult of Personality.' A tour with the Rolling Stones and Grammy awards would follow.
Despite Glover's love for singing and acting, he and the band weren't so keen on the idea when the makers of a Fox television show asked to use their song, 'What's Your Favorite Color,' for a new pilot.
"They showed us the pilot using our song, and we were like, 'Yeah, it's great. It sounds good, but we really don't want to do television right now,'" Glover recalls.
The song was pulled, but the executives kept the show's title -- 'In Living Color' -- which caused some confusion. Still, the band has no regrets.
"We were trying to establish ourselves as a band, not as the band from that show," Glover says.
While a five-year split may have cost the band its momentum in the '90s, Glover took a different direction, portraying Judas for the first time in 2006. Carl Anderson, who had previously portrayed Judas -- and died of leukemia in 2004 -- had inspired Glover to pursue rock.
"When I saw 'Jesus Christ Superstar,' I was like, 'That's rock music,'" he says. "'I want to be the black guy singing rock music. I'm that guy. I want to be Carl Anderson.'"
Of course, 'JCS' is a rock opera, and other rock stars have taken roles in the musical, including ex-Skid Row singer Sebastian Bach, who played Jesus; Jack Black, who portrayed Herod; and Gary Cherone, the ex-Extreme and ex-Van Halen member, who portrayed both Jesus and Judas at different times.
Glover eventually left the production to rejoin his band, which released its fifth album, 'The Chair in the Doorway,' a year ago. The band is currently traveling on the Experience Hendrix tour.
When he gets onstage for those gigs, expect a little bit of the actor in Glover to come out.
"The same muscles you use for acting, you have to use for any kind of performance," he says. "You're trying to find yourself in a character."