House of Cards and Luke Cage star Mahershala Ali recently opened up about his first major release, David Fincher's The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, where Brad Pitt played the titular role. The Moonlight movie star talked about the fantasy drama movie and how he set limits for himself from the very first significant role.
Mahershala Ali recently got candid on Common's Mind Power Mixtape podcast about his professional and personal life. While talking about his role as Tizzy Weathers in Brad Pitt's The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Ali spoke about the intimate scene he had to shoot opposite Taraji P. Henson. He candidly stated why he refused to film a sex scene with the actress.
"So my old agent called me and said, 'Mahershala, you got the part,'" Ali recalled via Page Six. "And I said, 'There's just one thing...There is that one sex scene where they kiss...If there's a sex scene, I can't do it."
Mahershala Ali was born as Mahershalalhashbaz Gilmore in 1974. He was raised a Christian in Hayward, California, by his mother -- an ordained Baptist minister. In 2000, Mahershalalhashbaz converted to Islam, changed his surname from Gilmore to Ali, and even joined Ahmadiyya Community. When he received a call from his agent, he went on to tell him that he does not do "simulated sex" because of his religion.
When David Fincher learned about Mahershala Ali's request, he came up with a solution and only shot the actor and Henson kissing in a scene.
"It wasn't clear if [Fincher] was trying to have like some bumping and grinding...which I doubt he was," Ali continued. "But for me even...at that time, 15 years ago, I was still like, 'Ok, I can only go up to this point,' just because of -- just trying to hold a space of respect for my religion."
Mahershala Ali's upcoming projects:
Ali's last major role in a feature film was in 2019's Alita: Battle Angel where he portrayed Vector -- an influential entrepreneur at the Factory with criminal connections.
Ali will next be seen playing the role of Milo in Benjamin Cleary's Swan Song movie. The drama movie will show how Milo will be diagnosed with a terminal illness, and the only way out for him is to replace himself with a carbon copy clone.