Behind the Movement cast talks the impact of the Rosa Parks biopic

Photo credit: Behind the Movement/TV One via MPRM Communications
Photo credit: Behind the Movement/TV One via MPRM Communications /

The Rosa Parks biopic is a compelling tale of the events and stories behind the movement. This is more than just a look at the legend, but an inspiring tale of all those behind.

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Think you know everything about Rosa Parks and that fateful day when she refused to give up her seat? There are many myths and misconceptions about the day, and Behind the Movement is about to change them all.

History only has it partially true. You may have heard that she was tired, and that’s certainly the case. However, she wasn’t tired from her day; she was tired of the injustice, the fear, and the mistreatment in the world at the time. The story told is something that is still important and impactful today, which is something the cast of the movie shared during a round-table interview.

Behind the Movement stars Meta Golding, Isaiah Washington and Loretta Devine. All three took time out of their days to discuss the filming of the movie, learning more about history and their own memories of the events.

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Meta Golding consumed everything she could about Rosa Parks

Golding plays the leading lady in the movie, Rosa Parks. However, this is more than just about the day she was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on the bus. It’s about the four days after and a look at the woman behind the legend. This wasn’t going to be easy for Golding, who was happy to have Aric Avelino as a director to guide her through the movie. To make sure she captured the woman and not just the legend, she read and consumed everything she could.

Photo credit: Behind the Movement/TV One via MPRM Communications
Photo credit: Behind the Movement/TV One via MPRM Communications /

Many people don’t realize that Ms. Parks was a published writer. Golding got as many works as possible (the articles, journals and more) to delve into the world of Parks. She consumed audio and video to make sure her mannerisms were that of the woman to kick start the movement.

When talking about her most memorable and inspiring scenes, Golding mentioned the first scene she did on the bus.

"“This was a real, historical bus that was shipped in. The feeling and tone of that…we all felt the gravity or importance of this story, because we were renacting a scene that changed the course of American history.”"

Golding also shared that when Parks talks to the other activists was another moving and important scene.

"“It’s the first time we really see Rosa in a leadership position and where she really uses her voice to communicate to her activist peers. I didn’t know how much that Rosa Parks was an activist before she gave up her seat, so that was a really profound scene.”"

Towards the end of the round-table interview, Golding hopes that people take away the importance of the narrative. History has been demolished and adapted too much. It’s about time that Parks’ true story and that of the movement is told in schools. There’s hope that this true story (there’s very little made up for the sake of entertainment) will inspire everyone today.

Isaiah Washington wants to make sure a certain man is remembered

While everyone likely knows the story of Rosa Parks and will know Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., there’s a certain other character forgotten about. Washington shared that his character, Edgar “E.D.” Nixon, is routinely overlooked in history, but an extremely integral part. This is a person Behind the Movement writer Katrina O’Gilvie made sure was included in the movie.

Photo credit: Behind the Movement/TV One via MPRM Communications
Photo credit: Behind the Movement/TV One via MPRM Communications /

Even E.D. himself couldn’t understand why he was left out of history. He was the head of the NAACP at the time; an influential man who made sure the right message was put across. Considering everything that E.D. did for the movement and afterwards, Washington shared that it was a travesty that he didn’t know about E.D. before the movie.

While Washington is best known for his TV roles in Grey’s Anatomy and The 100, he admitted in the interview that he is picky with his work choices. He will only take a movie that speaks to him and that is exactly what Behind the Movement did. He noticed that it had the chance to break barriers and send a message to the real activities out there.

Throughout the movie, he shared photos of his transformation on his Instagram feed. He pushed as much information as he could to help encourage others to step up and speak out, and now hopes that the movie will encourage them more.

There was one moment that was difficult for him. The bus used in the movie is the real bus that Rosa Parks was on during that fateful day. While others stepped onto the bus and shared the feelings they go, Washington shared that it wasn’t something he could do as he didn’t feel worthy of such an honor.

"“When I got out of my Uber, before I met Aric, before I met anyone and I walk within three feet of that yellow bus? My breath was taken away…I couldn’t breathe around this bus. People said ‘do you want to get on it?’ and I said ‘absolutely not, I’m not worthy. I haven’t done enough…I’ll get on that bus when I’m done.’ And this is why I did Behind the Movement.”"

Loretta Devine learned more than she believed she could

One of the things that came out of the interview was the history that Loretta Devine already knew. She knew many of the misconceptions, the effort it took for the movement and the atrocities people faced. However, like many others, she learned so much more during the process of the movie. One of those was the fact that it took three years to plan for this movement alone.

The simple fact was that Parks’ decision not to stand was the reason the NAACP could finally move ahead with the movement. They had their figurehead; the person to stand up there and fight for the injustice. While many may think they know the facts, this movie is going to teach you a whole lore more.

Photo credit: Behind the Movement/TV One via MPRM Communications
Photo credit: Behind the Movement/TV One via MPRM Communications /

This is one of those movies that Devine hopes becomes one of the classics. She wants it to become the step-by-step guide for the youth, so when they want to start their movements, they can do it with full success.

The feelings of Behind the Movement were certainly similar for the whole cast. Golding, Washington and Devine all shared the history they learned, the shock they felt, and how terribly timely this movie is. With the insecurity and fear in the world, there’s a chance that Behind the Movement can be everything the nation needs and more.

"“I hope this becomes one of the classics that we watch year after year and introduce to our young people as an explanation of how a movement goes about and how much energy it takes and how they can create their own movement…There are a lot of young people who say ‘this is what I want and this is how I want to do it,’ so I think this movie will have all the answers. People will want to watch it again and again.”"

Next: Rosa Parks biopic writer Katrina O'Gilvie talks researching the woman behind the legend

Behind the Movement tells the full story of Rosa Parks from getting on the bus to the end of those four days to create the movement. It tells the story of every single player, looking at the personal lives and not just the legends so many became.

Behind the Movement airs on Feb. 11 at 7pm on TV One.