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Which Motown legend does John Legend dream of portraying on screen?


James Dimmock/NBCFollowing his recent starring role in NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar Live in ConcertJohn Legend is looking forward to expanding his acting career and, consistent with his name, his dream is to portray one of the legends of Motown.  

“I’d always thought about doing Marvin Gaye, and I still think about that,” he tells The Hollywood Reporter.  One of Motown’s leading hit makers, Gaye was murdered by his own father in 1984.

Legend’s brief acting career also includes roles in the movie La La Land, and playing Frederick Douglass in the now-canceled WGN series Underground.  Though he’s already won a Tony Award — as a co-producer of the play Jitney — he says he’s now considering starring on Broadway.   

“When it comes to doing Broadway or something like that, I think the most likely scenario would be writing something original that I would sing,” Legend says. “If the right idea comes along, the right material, then I’ll try it.”  

Meanwhile, Legend may score an Emmy nod for his role in Jesus Christ Superstar.  He says he’ll never forget how overwhelmed he was by the response from the musical’s composer, Andrew Lloyd Webber, and lyricist Tim Rice, following the live broadcast on April 1.

“They emailed me a few days later and told me how grateful they were for how we put our heart and soul into it and how proud they were,” Legend remembers. “They said, ‘It’s the best reviews our show has ever gotten.’ I was happy that they were happy.”

Emmy nominations will be announced next month.

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