Martin Sheen explains why he hated playing J. Edgar Hoover in ‘Judas and the Black Messiah’

Martin Sheen has played a lot of controversial figures in his tenure as an actor — but there’s one character he says he just flat out hated: Former FBI director J. Edgar Hoover

“I played one of the worst villains imaginable who had a different public persona, but personally, he was a wretched man,” Sheen tells ABC Audio of his Judas and the Black Messiah character.

“He destroyed a lot of lives. Including a lot of Black lives,” he continues. “And I wasn’t very happy playing him. I did everything I could not to play him.”

While Sheen may have loathed becoming the man who helped to take down Black Panther leader Fred Hampton — among other notable Black historical figures — the Emmy winner says he signed on for the Hampton biopic simply because of those involved.

“But I did it,” he says. “[Director Shaka King] is an impressive guy.”

Judas and the Black Messiah, also starring Daniel Kaluuya as Hampton and LaKeith Stanfield as FBI informant William O’Neal, is now available in select theaters and streaming exclusively on HBO Max February 12.

By Candice Williams
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.