Any young black actors out there who want to break into the industry in a major way now have a chance to do so - by potentially being cast as one of the most iconic rappers of all time.
The powers behind Tupac, the upcoming biopic based on the life of Tupac Shakur, are taking to the Web to find someone who can embody the larger-than-life personality of the late rapper, and they are literally taking all comers. Today we'll let you know how you can snag one of the most controversial and coveted roles to come along in years...from the comfort of your home.
In a joint press release from Morgan Creek Productions, Skee.tv (as in the famous DJ Skee) and Karmaloop.tv (as in the concert culture promoter), those hoping to land the role of Tupac are instructed to do the following:
The casting call begins on Friday, March 18 and allows individuals who exemplify Tupac to upload their video audition to InSearchofTupac.com. Fans and entrants are encouraged to check the website often, as important announcements and additional opportunities will be unveiled during the course of the month-long audition.
"We’re looking for someone with the right mix of raw charm and charisma for the role," says producer David Robinson. "At this point, we’re more concerned about finding someone with the ability to give their entire heart into the performance more than just looks and personality.”
Here's a trailer advertising the open casting call:
In addition to taking auditions, the InSearchofTupac.com site will also be updated with rare video footage and interviews with the late rapper.
Tupac is being directed by Antoine Fuqua (Training Day) from a script by Oscar-nominated writing team Stephen J. Rivele and Chris Wilkinson. The writing duo have already penned one Oscar-nominated biopic about a famous African-American figure - the Will Smith vehicle, Ali.
Last time we reported on the status of this Tupac biopic, it set off a sudden and unexpected wildfire in our comments section. Say what you will about the Tupac - and depending on who you ask you'll hear everything from rapper to poet to philosopher, activist, rapist, thug, murderer and actor - if that last post we wrote is any indication, the late Shakur is still a very complex and important figure in contemporary American life. (Note: I say "important" in the sense that he still elicits strong reactions from people, rather than having faded into obscurity.)
As for casting an unknown in a role as coveted as this... Well, I'm always up for seeing new talent be discovered (True Grit would've only been half as good without its young unknown, Hailee Steinfeld, in the lead). But on the other hand, there are plenty of young black actors already working who could tackle the role. Marlon Wayans would be a great dark horse candidate for the part in my opinion, and Anthony Mackie already did a pretty solid job playing Shakur in the Biggie Smalls biopic, Notorious.
Speaking of that other movie about a famous rapper slain during the mid '90s East Coast / West Coast beef: Notorious also took the approach of casting an unknown to play an iconic figure. And while that actor, Jamal Woolard, did a pretty solid job playing Biggie, speaking as a film critic, it was clear at many points throughout the film that he was still a novice. With material as complex, layered and controversial as Tupac's life story is, the person playing the role actually needs a fairly strong array of acting tools under their belt - "spirit" and looks won't be enough.
Tupac is likely to be released sometime early in 2013. We'll keep you posted on the film's development.
Source: Morgan Creek Productions via Coming Soon