Screenwriter Julian Breece spent nearly a decade crafting the story of civil rights advocate Bayard Rustin to the screen. It was a journey of not only historic discovery but also one of personal discovery. And now audiences everywhere can experience the story of Bayard Rustin (played brilliantly by Colman Domingo) today on Netflix.
Here, in an interview with Awards Daily, Breece walks us through the process of research and the intent to focus on Rustin’s direct contribution to the 1963 March on Washington. He also talks about the intersection between Rustin’s political impact and his personal life as a gay male in an era where it simply wasn’t accepted. Breece also talks about Domingo’s performance — one that seems to challenge the very soul of Rustin himself — and the collaboration that lead to the finished product.
When audiences see the film, Breece hopes they fully appreciate and understand Rustin’s massive impact to human rights in America.
“What if he hadn’t fought to come back? That’s how much he cared about equal rights and the equality of all human beings. He fought to come back into a movement that pushed him out,” Breece enthuses in the interview.
Finally, Breece talks about the emotional moment when he first saw the finished product. As the culmination of countless research hours, Rustin is a film of which everyone involved should be incredibly proud, and Breece embraces this moment wholeheartedly.
Rustin currently streams on Netflix.