John Legend Will Portray An Icon On 'Underground'

by Allie Gemmill
Charley Gallay/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

After an exciting performance at the 2017 Oscars and a tour on the horizon, the good times will keep rolling for John Legend when he appears on the hit show Underground. On Friday, Entertainment Weekly shared a first look at Legend's role as Frederick Douglass in Underground and the photo proves Legend couldn't have been a better fit for the role. Legend's had small acting roles prior to his Underground gig and he certainly made his mark in the Oscar-winning La La Land. His role as Douglass, though, could reaffirm Legend's multi-faceted talents and allow him to sink his teeth into a variety of roles in the future.

Legend has been an executive producer for Underground since the show first aired last year. Now, he has the double distinction of coming from behind the camera and appearing on the show he has helped nurture into a success. The first photo of him as Douglass is remarkable; I mean, he really, genuinely looks like Douglass and there's something — a certain je ne sais quoi, if you will — that Legend exudes in his costuming and posture. It's a step back in time for Legend, whose previous acting roles have keep him in a more modern setting, but he looks every bit as comfortable in a historical drama as he does in, say, modern L.A.

Legend's role is reportedly smaller than some of the other historical figures popping up on this season of Underground, but believe me: the breadth and depth of Douglass' legacy means Legend has had a lot to draw on to prepare for the role. Of the opportunity to step into the shoes of one of the most famous men in American history, Legend told EW,

"He understood the importance of strategy. He understood the power of image and of story to humanize the slaves and to show how evil the institution was. If it weren’t for him showing the human worth of slaves, we might not have seen abolition happen when it did."

Legend understands the importance of Douglass' work, not only within the context of the show, but within a political and historical context. The singer himself, along with wife Chrissy Teigen, has remained among the group of celebs who is very vocal in their dislike of President Trump. Regularly taking to Twitter to voice his political feelings, Legend is stalwart is his beliefs and has often presented himself as a reasonable voice for a variety of liberal-leaning causes over the last few months.

Legend is, without a doubt, the right man for the job of playing Douglass on Underground. This first look at him only cements that fact.