Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Flea Discusses His Role in New Film ‘Low Down’
Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea will be seen in the new biopic ‘Low Down.’ The film, which is being executive produced by Flea and Chili Peppers frontman Anthony Kiedis, tells the story of jazz pianist Joe Albany, who played with the likes of Charlie Parker and Miles Davis. ‘Low Down’ also stars John Hawkes, Elle Fanning, Taryn Manning, Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey and Glenn Close. It will arrive in theaters in early 2015.
Flea recently sat down with Rolling Stone for an interview about the film and how his past helped him dig deep into the role of the heroin addicted trumpet player Lester Hobbs.
Flea started playing the trumpet at age 11. He says, “All I wanted to be was a jazz trumpet player when I grew up. That was my goal in life. Later in high school, I met Hillel Slovak, who was the original guitar player of the Chili Peppers, and we became really close. We had a band and we didn't like the bass player, so I started playing bass and I got a bass two weeks later.” The rest is history.
Flea, born Michael Peter Balzary, also drew upon his struggles with drugs for the role, as his character battles heroin addiction. The bassist, who says he hasn’t touched the drug since 1992, relied on his memory to help him get into the character. “Before we'd do a shot, I'd sit by myself and really imagine doing heroin, even to the point of reminding myself of doing the whole f--king crazy thing.” Flea added, “I could taste it and feel it. It wasn't emotionally hard to go back to that part of my life for the role. I love my life and my mistakes and my triumphs, all of it."
‘Low Down’ is told from the perspective of Joe Albany’s daughter Amy-Jo (played by Elle Fanning in the film) and is based on the book she wrote back in 2003 titled 'Low Down: Junk, Jazz and Other Fairy Tales From Childhood' about her experience of growing up with her famous father. Flea says he completely related to her story. “I grew up in Hollywood with a junkie jazz musician parent that's like absolutely crazy. I read the script and I was like, ‘Holy f--k.’”
Check out the entire Rolling Stone interview here.
‘Low Down’ will arrive in theaters on Jan. 19. Watch the trailer here.