TIME tapped fellow celebrities to pen tributes to their choices. Spike Lee pays tribute to Washington, who appeared at the age of 7 in his film Malcolm X, which starred John’s father, Denzel Washington.
“When I began development on BlacKkKlansman, I knew right away that J.D. was “da MAN WIT da PLAN” to portray the real-life Ron Stallworth,” Lee wrote. “I had peeped his SKILLZ in HBO’s series Ballers and I liked what I saw. And as they say, ‘Da Rest Iz History.’”
Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote he was awe of Amanda Gorman when she performed her poem, “The Hill We Climb,” at President Joe Biden’s Inauguration.
“If the hardest part of an artist’s job is to fully and honestly meet the moment, Amanda delivered a master class,” Miranda commented. “She spoke truth to power and embodied clear-eyed hope to a weary nation. She revealed us to ourselves.”
Shonda Rhimes, who chose Regé-Jean Page to star in Bridgerton, wrote, “You might dream of him, the one we call the Duke of Hastings. But in reality, Regé-Jean Page is finer than fiction and better than any dream. He is that rare actor, one who brings an intensity, an intelligence and a precision to his work, providing endless depth to any scene.”
This Friday at 1 p.m. ET, Chloe X Halle and others on the list will perform at TIME100 Next‘s virtual event.
By Ken Simmons
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