Gbenga Akinnagbe Portrays Tenacious Prison Boxer George Lee Martin in 'Heart, Baby!'
The undefeated athlete turned down an offer to box in the 1984 Olympics in exchange for his freedom.
Although most still connect Nigerian-American actor Gbenga Akinnagbe to the cult classic series The Wire, he's been having a solid run of playing complex characters in TV and in film so far this year.
In the trailer for Heart, Baby!—a film based on a true story directed by Angela Shelton—Akinnagbe plays George Lee Martin, an invincible prison boxer serving time in the Central Tennessee State Penitentiary.
The film tells the story of Martin, who was sentenced to 40 years in prison for armed robbery at 18 years old, Deadline reports. He turned down an offer from the US Olympic team in exchange for his freedom in 1984.
Watch the trailer below.
Akinnagbe also speaks about the humbling experience playing Martin in a brief clip from when the movie was in production in 2017.
"I'm excited for the world to see it," he says.
The cast also features Jackson Rathbone, Big Freedia, Shawn Caulin Young, Quinton Aaron, Dana Gourrier, Keir O'Donnell, Justice Leak, and more. Check out more information via the film's website here.
Heart, Baby! was acquired by distributor North Of Two, and is set to have its world premiere at the Newport Beach Film Festival. The film will then land in New York November 16 at Village East Theatre and at the Ahrya Fine Arts Laemmle Theatre November 23 in Los Angeles. Additional cities will follow.