A Trio of Reporters Named David Brill

The fictional one is played by Ewan McGregor.

The fictional one works for Rolling Stone and is played in the new movie Miles Ahead by Ewan McGregor. A real version filed investigative pieces out of Massachusetts for Gay Community News, The Advocate and Boston magazine before passing away in 1979.

As Cincinnati Enquirer arts reporter Carol Motsinger notes in her look at the new film directed by and starring Don Cheadle as Miles Davis (alongside McGregor), there’s more to this odd coincidence. The film, which was principally shot in the Ohio city, is set the year that the real Brill died:

Cheadle does know that there were a handful of journalists who did try to interview Davis during what’s now known as his “silent period.” So it made sense to cast a reporter as Davis’ sidekick in the central caper.

Another real-life David Brill is a distinguished Australian cameraman, now 71. It might seem like a stretch to include this Brill in an item about a film set in New York circa-1979. Except that Brill was here at that time, carrying out what turned out to be a ten-year posting alongside Australian Broadcasting Corporation colleagues Ray Martin and Jeff McMullen. Cool cats, all.