CLEVELAND-- Stephan James says he was honored to play legendary athlete and Cleveland native Jesse Owens in the new movie "Race."
James sat down with folks on FOX 8 News in the Morning on Friday to discuss the role.
"I can't begin to explain when you get that first call that you're playing the fastest man on the planet," James said. "I was blown away by his story when I researched him."
He had the opportunity to meet with Owens' family as part of his preparation. James and Owens' daughter, Marlene, will be at the Cleveland Cavaliers game Friday night for a Black History Month tribute to the Olympian.
"We see so much online about Jesse Owens the athlete, the superhuman, the fastest man on the planet. But not a lot about the man he was, the father he was, the husband he was," James said.
Owens attended East Tech High School in Cleveland before going to Ohio State University. He won four gold medals at the 1936 Summer Olympics, set in Nazi Germany.