By Naomi Clarke, PA Entertainment Reporter
Mahershala Ali has said he hopes his new film Swan Song will remind people to be “fully present” with their loved ones and that you do not need a “ticking clock” to work towards being your “best self”.
The Oscar-winning actor stars as Cameron Turner in the sci-fi film, a terminally ill man who clones himself rather than revealing his condition to his wife Poppy, played by Naomie Harris.
The 47-year-old helped produce the film which was directed by Benjamin Cleary, and also features Awkwafina, Glenn Close and Adam Beach.
Reflecting on the message of the movie, Ali told the PA news agency: “To be fully present with your people, your loved ones, your friends, and to really work to realise your full self, to be your full self, your best self.
“Jack (the clone version) doesn’t have any talents or any abilities that Cameron doesn’t have, but it appears as if Jack is is totally interested in building a fulfilled life for himself.
“And I don’t think any of us necessarily need a death sentence or a ticking clock to begin to work to be our best self and work towards meeting our potential.”
Ali explained that there was a “real effort” to build in “subtle differences” between the real life Cameron and the clone Jack.
He added: “The first thing I had to be very mindful of was the power dynamic, and to always be conscious of who was in power in the room, and more times than not, that was Cameron.
“And so that impacted how everything was played, how I approached playing those scenes as Cameron, who was in power, and then the more submissive or the brother…
“I looked at them as brothers and almost looked at Jack as being the younger brother, and so therefore he had to act accordingly.
“Because he wasn’t the one in power in the situation.”
It was announced earlier this week, that Ali has been nominated for the best actor award by the Golden Globes for his duel role in the futuristic film.
He faces competition from Benedict Cumberbatch for The Power Of The Dog; Will Smith for King Richard; Denzel Washington for The Tragedy of Macbeth and Javier Bardem for Being The Ricardos.
The Hollywood actor has previously won best supporting actor at the Oscar Awards for his roles in 2018’s Green Book and 2016’s Moonlight.
Harris, 45, told PA that she joined the project after feeling “touched” by the script as it forced her to address things that had been “running around” her mind.
She said: “I think that’s what true moviemaking should be about ultimately.
“It’s not just pure entertainment, it should be edifying in some way, and should hopefully stretch an audience in the way that they view life in some different way.
“And I think this movie does that brilliantly.”
The actress also reflected on how she believes the film explores that real love is “really sacrificial” and means putting somebody else before yourself.
Swan Song is in cinemas and on Apple TV+ from December 17.