Steve McQueen making Paul Robeson biopic

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Steve McQueen

Steve McQueen

Steve McQueen has revealed he is making a biopic of singer, actor and civil rights campaigner Paul Robeson, which will also feature the late star's friend Harry Belafonte.

Steve McQueen is working on a biopic about Paul Robeson.

The American star rose to fame in the 1920s as a singer and actor, and soon became involved in the US Civil Rights movement and director McQueen is now going to bring his story to the big screen.

Speaking at the Hidden Heroes awards in New York, he said: "His life and legacy was the film I wanted to make the second after 'Hunger'

"But I didn't have the power, I didn't have the juice."

Throughout his career the actor campaigned against racism and took part in anti-Nazi demonstrations and even supported the miners' strike in South Wales between 1984 and 1985.

Later in his career, Paul was branded a communist by President McCarthy which ended his career as a performer and led to him losing his passport.

Inspired by the man as a teenager, McQueen, 45, recalled the moment a neighbour gave him a newspaper cutting when he was 14 about Robeson.

He recalled: "It was about this black guy who was in Wales and was singing with these miners.

"I was about 14 years old, and not knowing who Paul Robeson was, this black American in Wales, it seemed strange. So then, of course, I just found out that this man was an incredible human being."

At the event, the '12 Years a Slave' creator also revealed Robeson's friend, singer/songwriter Harry Belafonte, will feature in the film.

Speaking of the 'Day O' singer, McQueen said: "We get on like a house on fire. I never thought I'd make a new friend, and a man who is 87 years old but I'm very happy, he's a beautiful man."

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