12/29/2014 09:04 am ET Updated Dec 29, 2014

John Lewis: Seeing Myself Being Portrayed In 'Selma' Is 'Almost Too Much'

Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), a civil rights icon, said it was "almost too much" to see himself being portrayed by an actor in the new movie "Selma," which tells the story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s battle to get equal voting rights for all citizens in 1965.

“I grew up not far from Selma,” Lewis told The Washington Post. “When we would go to the theater as young black children, we had to go upstairs to the balcony and all the little white children went downstairs to the first floor.”

Actor Stephan James portrays Lewis in the film, which the congressman said is "long overdue."

“The movie is good timing with what is going on in Ferguson, and I was so pleased to see in the movie there was a mention of Ferguson,” Lewis said in an interview on Variety's “PopPolitics” on SiriusXM, likely referring to a song from the film called "Glory" by John Legend and Common. In the song, Common says: "That's why Rosa sat on the bus / That's why we walk through Ferguson with our hands up."

“It was said to another generation, and maybe future generations, that through the peaceful non-violent action you can bring about change," Lewis said.

According to The Washington Post, Lewis was brought to tears when he met James while visiting the set of "Selma."

See more on "Selma" here, and read more on Lewis' thoughts on the film at The Washington Post.



"Selma" Premiere