John Legend has starred in music videos, movies and, most recently, as Jesus Christ in the NBC revival of Jesus Christ Superstar that premiered last weekend.
“Jesus Christ Superstar is an iconic show,” said the Grammy- and Oscar-winning performer, as he sat down with Charlamagne tha God and DJ Envy for today’s The Breakfast Club. “And the role couldn’t have been more iconic, so let’s take it. It’s a challenge.”
Legend also spoke on his latest single “Good Night,” wanting to end mass-incarceration and being sworn to secrecy about who bite Queen B.
If his role in Jesus Christ Superstar taught him anything new: This was a character as it was written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, so it wasn’t meant to be exactly, strictly biblical. It was meant to be an imagination of what his last days might have been like, what his interactions with his friends might have been like, what his interactions with his followers might have been like, and maybe what kind of resentment he might have had knowing that he had to make that sacrifice.
On if he had a problem playing Jesus: No. I felt it was going to be a challenge to play. I knew there would be a lot of pressure because people had expectations for it, but I felt good about it. I felt like I could do it and I was ready to do it.
On what Jesus dressed like: We’ve seen so many versions of him based on what people decided he looked like. We don’t know what he looked like exactly. We know he’s probably browner than a lot of the versions we’ve seen. We just decided we were going to make him look modern and make the whole show look modern.
On his new single “Good Night”: So the idea is, basically, you go out and you think you’re just going out for a regular night and you meet somebody you really hit it off with. You might be feeling drunk or feeling a certain kind of way in the moment, but maybe you just met your wife.
On working on Kanye West’s next project in Wyoming “I haven’t been out there yet, but I’ll get out there as soon as I can. I’ve been so focused on this show, I haven’t had a chance to.”
On if he knows who bit Beyoncé: Yes. We weren’t there, but we know people that were there. Chrissy knew before I knew and she told me. But we’re sworn to secrecy.”
On Free America: That’s my organization that is all about ending mass-incarceration and one of the things we do is work with the people who get out of prison that need to be productive and need to get back into society again. A lot of the times we forget about them. A lot of times they can’t get a job. They can’t reintegrate into their community and they end up getting in trouble again. So we wanted to create a situation where we invest in them and give them the opportunity to succeed and be entrepreneurs.
Watch John Legend’s most recent The Breakfast Club visit above.