Don Cheadle Talks 10-Year Journey to Bring 'Miles Ahead' to the Screen at Film's Premiere

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Don Cheadle, Emayatzy Corinealdi and Ewan McGregor

The multihyphenate hinted that he and co-writer Steven Baigelman are working on more projects together.

Don Cheadle’s Miles Ahead premiered Tuesday night at The Writers Guild of America Theater in Beverly Hills. The actor plays jazz musician Miles Davis in the biopic and also served as director, co-writer and producer. 

"I knew that we would be at a point where hopefully we would show it to our friends and family and then ultimately release it to the world," Cheadle told The Hollywood Reporter at the premiere. 

The film centers on the musician's life for a period of five years in the late 1970s. Davis meets a Rolling Stone reporter, Dave Braden (Ewan McGregor), who forces his way into the musician’s home. Despite the intrusion, the two end up going on a journey to reclaim stolen tapes of Davis' unreleased music.

“The entire experience was very inspiring, exhausting and took a huge toll but ultimately, you know as I said, we’ve been on this journey together for 10 years and to get to the finish line and the family is still riding long and everyone is feeling that we’ve done the right thing by Miles," said Cheadle.

When asked about the dynamic between Braden and Davis, McGregor responded, “He’s sort of a scumbag reporter, Dave Braden. In a way he’s using Miles Davis to get ahead. His life is falling apart a little bit and he feels like if he could get this story of Miles Davis’ comeback ... he’s heard that he recorded a session.”

McGregor continued: “There’s a lot of mystery surrounding the recording, and if he could get there and infiltrate into Miles Davis’ life, he’s going to come out of it ahead, so he’s in it for the wrong reasons.”

Emayatzy Corinealdi, who plays Frances Taylor, Davis' first wife, also talked about her experience working with Cheadle as a director.

“He’s a very self-assured actor, very committed to the craft without taking himself too seriously, so he knows what he’s doing. He’s capable, so you don’t have to worry about that," the actress said. "This is his first time, technically, but Don knows what he’s doing, so you don’t have concerns with a first-time director that you normally might."

Cheadle hinted that he and Miles Ahead co-writer Steven Baigelman are working on more projects together. Though he chose not to elaborate, he told THR, "We’re two peas in a pod."