Don Cheadle returns to Cincy: ‘I feel like I’m home’

Don Cheadle returns to Cincy: ‘I feel like I’m home’
The Esquire Theater hosted the screening. (FOX19 NOW)
The Esquire Theater hosted the screening. (FOX19 NOW)

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - More than a year and a half after filming wrapped up for 'Miles Ahead,' Don Cheadle returned to the Queen City to for an advanced screening of his Miles Davis biopic.

Cheadle attended the Saturday night event hosted by The Greater Cincinnati Film Commission at the Esquire Theatre.

"As soon as I got off the airplane I was like 'oh wow, I feel like I'm home in a way,'" Cheadle told reporters on the red carpet.

The movie, directed by and starring Cheadle, is set in New York City, but was filmed mostly in Cincinnati during the summer of 2014. It opens in theaters on April 15 in Cincinnati.

Cheadle has praised Cincinnati's architecture and commended the film commission for "pulling out all the stops." He decided early in the film making process that he would return to Cincinnati for a screening of 'Miles Ahead.'

"Everybody opened their arms to us, everybody was very generous," said Cheadle.

Producer Pamela Hirsch also praised the city for cooperation during a frantic car chase scene.

"We knew it was going to be challenging," said Hirsch, "but when you want to take over the streets, it helps to have a city that is happy to have you there. It just makes it easier."

In 2006, Cheadle says Davis' family approached him about making a movie profiling the jazz musician's life. He said the only way he could capture the essence of Miles Davis was to write the film himself. He co-wrote the script with Steven Baigelman and enlisted actors Ewan McGregor, Michael Stuhlbarg and Emayatzy Corinealdi.

Cheadle partially financed the film through fundraising website IndieGoGo. Using social media to advance the film felt natural because, as Cheadle says, Miles was "someone who made social music."

The movie follows Miles in the late 1970s. Producers describe the film:

"Miles Davis (Cheadle) virtually disappears from public view for a period of five years in the late 1970s. Alone and holed up in his home, he is beset by chronic pain from a deteriorating hip, his musical voice stifled and numbed by drugs and pain medications, his mind haunted by unsettling ghosts from the past. By the late '70s, plagued by years of regret and loss, Davis flirts with annihilation until he once again finds salvation in his art."

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