Chadwick Boseman is quickly becoming Hollywood’s go-to man to portray cultural and historical icons. After playing baseball legend Jackie Robinson in 42, the 32-year-old actor is now in the role of James Brown in Universal and United Entertainment’s flick Get On Up.

Chadwick Boseman, Get On Up
Chadwick Boseman in Get On Up.

The studio reportedly struggled for a long time to find the right actor and get the biopic off the ground, the task made even more difficult by Brown’s death in 2006.

Next Friday, the biopic will finally land in theaters, putting Boseman in the spotlight once again. To him, the role of Brown is especially valuable, the actor told the New York Daily News.

“I didn’t want to do it at first,” Boseman, 32, said for the Daily News. “After I did ‘42,’ I was offered every biopic in the book — from Muhammad Ali to Sugar Ray Robinson to Jimi Hendrix.”

With Get On Up, Boseman felt a special responsibility, because of the tremendous influence of James Brown over his part of the country (both Brown and Boseman are from South Carolina.)