Legendary recording artist Marvin Gaye is going to be recognized by many over the next year. Some familiar with him and others not, Gaye's life story and music will be recounted in at least two forms — on stage and in theaters. While there is excitement surrounding both forms, especially the biopic that will feature Jesse L. Martin portraying Gaye, the "Sexual Healing" singer's ex-wife is not enthused.
"I don’t think Marvin is a very happy spirit right now. This is the last thing he would have wanted," his ex-wife, Janis, who was married to him from 1977-1981, shared with NY Daily News over the weekend.
According to Janis, the film and stage play ("My Brother Marvin"), the latter featuring Lynn Whitfield, Clifton Powell; R&B sensation Keith Washington; Tony Grant, and R&B Group Az Yet, does not depict the man she knew in a positive light.
"I haven’t read the script, but it’s supposed to be based on (Zeola Gaye’s) book and I did read the book from cover to cover, and it was very difficult to read," said Janis. "Some of the characterizations, like saying Marvin’s father killing him was a ‘mercy killing,’ you can only imagine how that makes the kids feel. It makes me feel bad enough."
That being said, Janis believes that Lenny Kravitz walked away from his role as Marvin Gaye, in the biopic, because of his conscience. She's hoping that Jesse L. Martin will do the same.
"Ultimately, I think it was Lenny’s heart and soul and conscience that caused him to step away," she told NY Daily News.
"My Brother Marvin," the stage play is scheduled for showings in Cleveland and Atlanta in the coming weeks.