"Chevalier"'s Kelvin Harrison Jr. Is "Tapping Out" of Future Historical Roles: "I've Done Enough"

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Period dramas are no joke — just take it from the cast of "Chevalier." The 18th-century-set movie stars Kelvin Harrison Jr., Samara Weaving, and Lucy Boynton in their sweeping true story about Joseph Bologne, the illegitimate son of an African slave and a French plantation owner who rose to fame as a celebrated violinist-composer and fencer in the 1700s. However, his existence was nearly erased from history as the 2023 film is billed as the "untold true story" about his life and legacy.

Harrison Jr. — who plays the titular Chevalier — tells POPSUGAR that viewers who have yet to see the movie, which hit theaters on April 21, may be "shocked to see such a fly boy in the 1700s." The 28-year-old and his castmates also share that they had the rewarding, but difficult experience of bringing director Stephen Williams and screenplay writer Stefani Robinson's "pretty iconic" tale to the big screen.

"You get to completely exit yourself and into the shoes of someone else and then leave them behind again."

Boynton says that a "huge amount of research" went into her preparation for her "Chevalier" role, as she portrays Queen Marie Antoinette. "I was lucky 'cause there's just so much information out there about her," she adds. Though the 29-year-old actor doesn't "relate to her [character] in the slightest," she notes that "that's the joy of playing roles like this." "You get to completely exit yourself and into the shoes of someone else and then leave them behind again," says Boynton.

Meanwhile, Harrison Jr. — who's played other historical icons like Fred Hampton ("The Trial of the Chicago 7") and B.B. King ("Elvis") — expressed that one of his biggest challenges for his virtuoso "Chevalier" role was relearning how to play the violin, despite his classical music background.

"The violin was a different task because there's an emotional aspect to it, a technical aspect to it, and then there's a fierceness about it," he explains. "You're playing Joseph — who was one of the swaggiest, charismatic, sexiest people of the time — and I wanted to kind of have all those elements and an instrument that we don't even look at as cool right now."

Despite being up for the task, the star teased that he may be retiring his historical movie streak after his upcoming Jean-Michel Basquiat biopic. "I think I've done enough," he jokes. "I have five now or something? I think I'm tapping out."

See what else the "Chevalier" cast has to say in their POPSUGAR interview above — including how Weaving managed to lip-synch over a professional Italian opera singer for her role.