The cast of the remake of the slavery drama “Roots” appeared on Monday’s “Good Morning America” to talk about the new miniseries. Watch the full “GMA” interview below.
“Roots,” which is based on the original 1977 series and a book by Alex Haley, tells the story of Kunta Kinte, a man abducted from his African village and sold into slavery in America. Spanning many years, the show also chronicles Kinte’s descendants and follows his family as they witness many notable events in U.S. history, such as wars, uprisings and the eventual abolition of slavery.
“It’s necessary to continue to tell this story,” actress Anika Noni Rose said on “GMA” of why they decided to remake the iconic series. Rege-Jean Page, who plays Kinte’s grandson Chicken George, noted, “I grew up in Zimbabwe in Africa, and this ‘Roots’ certainly has one of the most respectful and ambitious portrayals of African history.”
Roman Armstrong, who stars as Kinte, noted, “One of the biggest things I took from playing [the role] is where his strength came from was in knowing where he was from and holding onto that.” And in taking on the part of an evil slave owner, actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers explained, “I accepted it from the moment I got there that I would be the villain, and I had to be as brutal as I could possibly be otherwise I would be dishonest and disrespectful to the material.” Armstrong further expressed his hope that the 2016 version of the series will help “bring about a sense of healing and clarity.”
“Roots” also stars Laurence Fishburne, Forest Whitaker, Anna Paquin, Tip “T.I.” Harris, Matthew Goode, Derek Luke, Mekhi Phifer and James Purefoy. The 4-episode miniseries premieres Monday night on History channel. Watch the cast’s “GMA” interview below.