Actor Don Cheadle usually tries to lay low when he visits his hometown of Kansas City, but Friday he walked a red carpet at the Cinemark Palace at the Plaza for a showing of his new film, “Miles Ahead.”
The film, which tells of a troubled period in the life of jazz legend Miles Davis, headlined this year’s Kansas City FilmFest. Cheadle co-wrote, directed and stars in the film, depicting Davis in the 1970s, when the musician virtually disappeared from public view for years, tortured by memories and chronic pain from a bad hip.
The film does not recount Davis’ entire life, and Cheadle has said it isn’t meant to be a traditional biopic. Instead, it tells a particular story about the man and his art.
“I hope people are entertained and want to do their own research and listen to his music,” Cheadle said.
When he’s in Kansas City, Cheadle normally isn’t seen much, preferring to visit relatives at home to talk and play cards, he said.
But Friday he stood in the spotlight as a homegrown celebrity. Mayor Sly James had even declared Friday “Don Cheadle Day.”
“That’s just the icing on the cake,” Cheadle joked. “I don’t know if I can just go into stores and take things off the rack — maybe I’ll try it and see what it gets me.”
While in the city, Cheadle received the Kansas City FilmFest KC Legend Award for Outstanding Achievement in Film and Television.
“Miles Ahead” opens in theaters in Kansas City next Friday.