Eye Candy: The Men of "Red Tails"

Eye Candy: The Men of "Red Tails"
ESSENCE.COM Jan, 19, 2012

1 of 12 DEREK BLANKS

Terrence Howard plays Colonel A.J. Bullard in the World War II-based film devoted to telling the true story of the Tuskegee Airmen.

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A Black mam becoming a Colonel in 1941 was a big deal. In the film, the other Tuskegee airmen look up to Howard’s character Colonel A.J. Bullard, he says. We’re thrilled to see that more positive accounts of Black history are making it to the big screen.

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With prominent roles in two major hit shows (“The Wire” and “Friday Night Lights”), it’s nice to see young and debonair actor Michael B. Jordan join the “Red Tails” cast as Maurice Wilson.

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Never one to disappoint, in the past Jordan earned a spot on our Sexiest Men of 2010 list and shirtless photos like this one proved to be a huge hit with the ladies.

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Cuba Gooding Jr. sure has kept busy since his breakout hit “Jerry Maguire,” clocking one hit film after another. When it comes to picking projects, he always chooses wisely, so it’s no surprise that the award-winning actor joins the cast of “Red Tails” as Major Emanuelle Stance.

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Virginia native Nate Parker (“The Secret Life of Bees” and “The Great Debaters”) joins the cast as Marty ‘Easy’ Julian.

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Singer and songwriter Ne-Yo takes a break from making hit records to once again show off his acting chops in “Red Tails,” where he brings Tuskegee Airmen Andrew “Smoky” Salem’s real life story to the big screen.

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The musician-turned-actor admits it was tough to keep his composure around legendary director/producer George Lucas. He’s a “Star Wars” fan but felt it was just a little weird to gush about the film series to the man who made it all possible.

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British actor David Oyelowo is one smooth brother. If you recognize this face, you most recently saw it in “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” where he co-starred with James Franco and Frieda Pinto and stole scene after scene.

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“It’s very rare for a film of this scale to be focused on a group of young Black men,” says Oyelowo. “There is no White savior character.”

11 of 12 Derek Blanks

Appearing on screen in “Red Tails” as Samuel ‘Joker’ George, actor Elijah Kelley adds another great role to his resume. When he’s not learning lines, he’s giving back to the local children in his hometown of LaGrange, GA, through his non-profit organization The Elijah Kelley Foundation.

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Leading men Terrence Howard, Cuba Gooding Jr., and Ne-Yo on the set of their ESSENCE magazine shoot. “Red Tails” is in theaters now.