The comedy “Soul Men,” co-starring Samuel L. Jackson and the late Bernie Mac, doesn’t premiere at the Apollo Theater for another month but already the legendary Sam Moore is complaining because of the parallels the movie draws to his life.
Sam and Bernie play an estranged R&B duo known as the Real Deal. In real life, Sam and Dave Prater, who died in an auto accident in 1988, were considered the greatest of all soul duos. They performed together beginning in 1961 but split up several times. One of their biggest hits was the single “Soul Man.”
Although Sam, who makes his first appearance in 40 years at The Apollo on Monday, hasn’t seen the movie, that didn’t stop him from popping off to Rush & Molloy:
“In the movie, they have a reunion concert. Dave and I had a reunion in 1982 after not talking with each other for years.
“Sam Jackson and Bernie Mac sing ‘Hold On, I’m Coming.’ That’s also our song.”
In fact, Moore, who hasn’t seen the movie, says he has been told that Jackson and Mac listened to Sam and Dave’s original to get pumped up for the scene.
Moore says that Bob Weinstein’s Dimension Films “tried to buy me out” by offering him $1,000 for a walk-on role.
“A thousand dollars!” he exclaims. “Whoa. You know, slavery times have ended.”
Moore, 72, is vexed, too, by the free use of the N-word in the film. “Even when Dave and I were fighting and cursing, we never used that word,” he says. “It’s an insult to every one of us who fought in the civil rights movement.
“I don’t understand how this can happen,” says Moore, who’s going to consult lawyers. “It’s not right.”
“Soul Men” producer David Friendly insists, “Everything in the movie is completely made up. The characters are backup singers, unlike Sam and Dave, who were headliners. [Bob Weinstein’s brother] Harvey Weinstein suggested at a party that Sam might be in the movie. But Sam declined the offer. No money was ever discussed. Just because they sing one Sam and Dave song doesn’t make it a movie about them. I think it’s unfair of [Moore] to criticize a movie he hasn’t seen.”