Smithville resident ‘gets on up’ in James Brown biopic

BISHOP

BISHOP

By Ray Van Dusen

Monroe Journal

SMITHVILLE – Nancy Bishop won’t even tap her foot when one of her favorite ’80s songs comes on. Dancing for more than 13 hours at a Jackson film shoot was more than enough for now.

Bishop helped recreate James Brown’s 1971 Paris concert as an extra for “Get On Up,” which is in theaters nationwide. She can be spotted in the scene third row center in front of Chadwick Boseman, who portrays Brown in the Tate Taylor film.

Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger had a hand in producing the film shot in Mississippi.

“I didn’t know a lot about James Brown before being in the movie,” Bishop said. “I do remember ‘I Feel Good’ from when I was a child. I think everyone has heard that song at one time or another. I learned he was born in Georgia and was an abused child growing up. We got to watch a scene staged behind the curtain when he put $20 in each of his band members’ pockets and he told them that he wouldn’t be there without them.”

For Bishop’s scene, which is the biggest concert scene of the film, extras donned clothing from 1971 and there were strict guidelines for jewelry and nail polish so authenticity was kept. Signage also was translated to French to capture the feel of the concert.

Bishop said the 131⁄2 hours it took to film the scene, which featured live performances of two songs, took up about 10 minutes of the movie.

“The funny thing is I have a son-in-law who went to a James Brown concert when he was 6. He’s in his 30s now, but was really excited when he heard what I was doing,” Bishop said.

ray.vandusen@journalinc.com