‘Yara Shahidi’s Day Off’: Alton Mason Feels a ‘Responsibility’ to Little Richard Role in ‘Elvis’ [Exclusive Clip]

Actor Alton Mason opened up to Yara Shahidi about commanding the role of iconic crooner Little Richard in the film Elvis, sharing that he felt an important responsibility to get the portrayal right.

Mason joined Shahidi in her Facebook Watch series, Yara Shahidi’s Day Off where the actors discussed Mason’s journey of becoming an icon on the runway and beyond. “Had too much fun moving with the inspirational trailblazer, Model/Actor Alton Mason!” Shahidi shared in the episode description.

“On your screens and in your magazine, Alton is the first Black male model to walk for Chanel; most recently, he portrayed Little Richard in the Elvis movie,” she added. “While I reach milestones at the gym, Alton opens up about the responsibility and journey of becoming an icon on the runway and beyond.”

Alton Mason talks ‘responsibility’ to the Little Richard role in ‘Elvis’

Mason sat down with Shahidi in a gym where they talked about the importance of the Little Richard role. “What’s amazing about what I do is the responsibility that comes with it,” Mason shared with Shahidi in an exclusive clip shared with Showbiz Cheat Sheet.

Yara Shahidi's Day Off on Facebook Watch
Yara Shahidi’s Day Off | Facebook

“And I really acknowledge that and honor that, because if it wasn’t for the people that opened the doors for me, I wouldn’t be able to walk through the doors with a crown on my head,” Mason added. “And it’s so crazy, now that the film is out, Elvis, and I’m playing Little Richard.”

Alton was ‘perfect’ in the role, Yara said

Shahidi agreed, adding that Mason truly embodied the role of Little Richard in Elvis. “Everything you’re talking about, about the responsibility and the people you’re carrying with you is evident in your work,” she said to Mason as he thanked her.

She also wondered what it was like to become Little Richard in Elvis. “It feels so perfect,” she continued. “The fact that you’re Little Richard like it makes so much sense. When I saw it, I was like, Of course, and seeing you on screen, it was like, of course.”

Alton Mason ‘cried my eyes out’ when offered the role

In an interview with Women’s Wear Daily, Mason described his reaction when offered the role of Little Richard. “I went in the bathroom and started crying my eyes out,” he revealed. “I was just so thankful because it is like the role found me. You know? It’s like [filmmaker] Baz [Luhrmann] found me and chose me. It’s like Little Richard chose me.”

He also said screening the film for the first time was nerve-wracking. “Oh my gosh. Well, a lot of nerves,” he admitted. “It felt just so surreal because when you’re sitting in that seat and walking that carpet with your cast, you’re also reflecting on where you started and how you got there and how much your family sacrificed for you to be in that realm. So it felt so surreal. It felt kind of crazy.”

Mason opens up to Shahidi about the role in In the upcoming sixth episode, debuting Thursday (11/17) at 9amPT/12pmET on Facebook Watch. Plus, catch all-new episodes of Yara Shahidi’s Day Off streaming every Thursday. 

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