Gandolfini Joins Martin for Marvin Gaye Film "Sexual Healing"

News   Gandolfini Joins Martin for Marvin Gaye Film "Sexual Healing" James Gandolfini will join the previously announced Jesse L. Martin in the cast of the upcoming independent Marvin Gaye biopic "Sexual Healing," according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Lauren Goodman ("A Last Goodbye") pens and directs the film, which is loosely based on the Steve Turner book "Trouble Man." Filming is slated to begin April 15 on location in Massachusetts, Ostend, Belgium and Los Angeles.

Gandolfini will play Gaye's manager, Freddy Cousaert, opposite Martin as the legendary soul singer. The film, as previously reported, will focus on the singer's final years — from his self-imposed exile to Europe after struggling with drug problems and label disputes with Motown through to his 1984 death at the hands of his father.

Known for his award-winning work as the star of "The Sopranos," Gandolfini has been seen on Broadway in A Streetcar Named Desire and On the Waterfront. He has also played in the films "Get Shorty," "8MM," "The Mexican," "The Man Who Wasn't There," "Romance & Cigarettes" and the upcoming "Where the Wild Things Are."

The actor also joins as producer with his Attaboy Films partner Alexandra Ryan. Gary Hamilton (Arclight Films) and Victor Syrmis will executive produce the reported $15 million film.

* "More than just being the voice of a generation, Marvin Gaye proved to be its very heartbeat," Goodman told the trade mag (Feb. 2006). "As a filmmaker, I was drawn to tell the story of a human being who was never fully realized, one with faults and foibles and an uncommon grace expressed every time he picked up the microphone."

Martin is known to theatre audiences for originating the role of Tom Collins in Rent — a part he recently reprised for the Christopher Columbus film version of the musical. A star of NBC's "Law & Order," Martin is also known for his television appearances on "Ally McBeal" and as the Ghost of Christmas Present in NBC's TV musical version of "A Christmas Carol." He can also be heard on the Sh-K-Boom Records releases Paul Scott Goodman's rock opera Bright Lights, Big City.