Leon Reveals This Iconic ‘The Temptations’ Line Was Unscripted

In a recent podcast episode of Netflix’s Strong Black Lead, Leon revealed that the iconic line from the 1998 miniseries The Temptations—“Ain’t nobody coming to see you, Otis”–wasn’t initially in the script.

“We were in rehearsals and I was David Ruffin the entire time. And I found out later my costars didn’t particularly care for me,” he joked to host Tracy Clayton. “But I stayed in that role the entire time so I was always thinking of things and telling the director and producers and stuff and things that I had researched and the way things were.”

“…I just said that line in rehearsal and [director] Allan Arkush came and whispered in my ear, and said, ‘You know, he [Charles Malik Whitfield, who played Otis Williams] doesn’t really like it when you say that,’” he continued. “And I turned to him and said, ‘He’s not supposed to…Did you see the reaction on his face when I said it? Isn’t that what you want?’”

“I just improvise a line and next thing I know, it’s like, that line follows me around the world,” he added.

You can watch a clip from the taping of the podcast below.

Strong Black Lead can be heard on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Stitcher.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *