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Julian Bond's cameo in indie "5 to 7" charmed filmgoers, director recalls

Civil rights leader Julian Bond, who died Saturday at age 75, played himself in a key cameo role in "5 to 7," a sophisticated drama that was released earlier this year.

“5 to 7,” which came out in April, starred Anton Yelchin as a New York writer who strikes up a sly romance with a worldly diplomat's wife played by Bérénice Marlohe. A key scene involves a witty dinner party starring New Yorker editor David Remnick, celebrity restaurateur Daniel Boulud, New York Philharmonic director Alan Gilbert and Bond, all playing themselves.

PHOTOS: Julian Bond through the years

Then NAACP Chairman Julian Bond addresses the civil rights organization's annual convention in Detroit in 2007. Bond, a civil rights activist and longtime board chairman of the NAACP, died Saturday, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. He was 75. AP photo

“I had read enough Tom Wolfe books to know that if you’re going to do a New York story, you’ve got to have a dinner party scene with famous people,” director Victor Levin, who also directs the locally produced Starz show “Survivor’s Remorse,” told us in an interview when the movie came out.

Filmmakers worked every connection they had to wrangle all those bold names into their modest-budget film, and were thrilled when Bond agreed to come on board. His erudite, elegant presence lent gravitas and those involved with the film were honored to work with him, Levin said.

Director Victor Levin was honored to work with Julian Bond. Photo: Jennifer Brett

At the time of our interview, the movie had been showed in advance screenings. Bond's cameo drew an appreciative reaction each time, Levin recalled.

"You could hear people gasp" when the camera settled upon the longtime NAACP board chairman, he said.

A native of Nashville, Bond was an icon of the civil rights movement and led the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, SNCC. As a student at Morehouse College, Bond helped found SNCC and served as its communications director.

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About the Author

Jennifer Brett is a multiplatform journalist and digital coach. She writes The Buzz blog for

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