, in theaters now, is the first August Wilson play to be adapted into a feature film backed by a major film studio (The Piano Lesson
, which was first produced in 1987, was made for TV in 1995). The sixth entry in Wilson's ten-part "Pittsburgh Cycle"—which focuses on a former Negro League baseball star turned trash collector in 1950s Pittsburgh who takes his bitter frustrations out on his family—premiered on Broadway in 1987 and won the Pulitzer Prize for drama. Wilson died in 2005, but had already written a screenplay for the eventual cinematic version—Denzel Washington, who starred as Troy in the 2010 Broadway revival, both directed and produced it for the big screen.
Washington stars in the film as well, alongside Viola Davis as Troy's wife, Mykelti Williamson as his brother, Russell Hornsby as his older son, and Stephen McKinley Henderson as his best friend, Bono; all of these actors also reprise their roles from the revival. The new addition is Jovan Adepo (The Leftovers
), who plays Troy's sensitive and athletic younger son, Cory.
I sat down with Henderson and Adepo at a recent press stop in Chicago to talk to them about performing Wilson's "blues iambic," working with Washington and Davis, and why they decided to become actors.