Oral History: Tupac Shakur's Acting Career--Uncut! [Pg.2]

Laresca: When they shot the scene when he shot me, they gave him the fucking 38 with the blanks. Pow! Pow! Pow! He was shooting in the air! They were like, “Yo, you can’t do that bro.” It was a low budget movie, so there were no squibs. They threw a bullet proof vest on me. They told Tupac, “This is what you’re gonna do, You’re gonna take the gun, stick it in his chest and pull the trigger. One shot and as he falls out of frame, you’re gonna empty the gun in him.” We did the scene and the director was like, “This looks staged. I’m not getting the reaction.” He shoots me in the chest and as I’m falling, he keeps shooting and I actually got shot in the neck with a full charged blank. That’s the shot they used in the movie. You can see the powder burns in my neck.
Kain: When we shot my death scene, it was a long day. We were young and getting high.
Ernest was like, “You’re going to fight over the gun, ‘Pac is going to take the gun from you and hit you in the chest. We’re going to get the gun shot wound and I want you to fall face first.” Tupac wasn’t really with it when we first kicked the scene off. There was no real fire [from Tupac]. I grabbed him and body-slammed him into the garbage cans and they yell cut. Pac jumps up and is like, “I can’t wait to bust you know. Gimme the gun.” It was on after that. It was fire.
Hopkins: Me and ‘Pac had an incident. One of his boys had got killed the day before. No one on the set knew but him. That day, he walked off the set. He walked off the set many times. We stayed in the same condo complex on 51st St. and 7th avenue. When I got home that night, I decided to play a joke, so I knocked on his door and told him, “Hey man, you messed up big this time. They are rewriting the movie and you are getting kicked off the movie.” The next day he came to the set and when he found out it wasn’t true, he ran down on me. We almost got into a real fight but it was like when you’re boys and you’re not trying to fight but you’re trying to let them know you mad. It wasn’t no real strong blows but there was a little tussle. It was Pac’s first film and he wasn’t understanding the hurry up and wait process. Meaning, he didn’t understand getting to the set at 7:30 and not filming until 12. He felt like they didn’t respect his time.
Treach: He was never late, always knew his lines and was always professional. We would get in at 2, 3 in the morning. He knew when to cut off the drinking. He could smoke all night. We were young so we could get 4, 5 hours of sleep and do our thing.
At times during the shoot, Tupac exhibited the violent tendencies of his character. Was it method acting or had he tapped into an exaggerated version of himself?
Dickerson: Tupac always had moments of being volatile.
Preston Holmes (Coproducer, Juice; coexecutive producer, Gridlock’d): There was one incident when we were shooting in Harlem on 158th St and Amsterdam. It was an exterior scene and Tupac wasn’t in the scene. He had finished his scenes for the day and was hanging out. A lot of people from the neighborhood were hanging out watching us film and Tupac started having a conversation with a young lady. Eventually, her boyfriend appeared and words were exchanged between ‘Pac and the boyfriend. It looked like the situation was going to be ugly and security contacted me. I was able to calm him down, pull him away and walk him back to his trailer. He was full of bravado at that point and was talking about how he wasn’t afraid of anybody and was from Oakland the murder capital of the world and how they didn’t know who they were messing with. I was like, “Look man, that’s all well and good but we can’t have anything happen to you. That’ll be the end of the movie. You might not realize this but judging from the dailies, if you want a career in this, you got it. When this movie comes out, I think it’s going to change your life.”
Laresca: Somebody broke into his trailer one day and stole his jewelry. He went fucking crazy. He was like, “No one’s leaving until I get my fucking jewelry.” He wasn’t fucking around. He was the real deal when it came to that shit.
Dickerson: The producers offered to replace the jewelry and he said, “No, no, I know who did it. I will deal with it.” Then he started having this huge person hang out with him, not really a bodyguard but hanging out with him. One day, we were setting up the scene with Raheem’s funeral. I see the producers talking in a huddle. I go, “What’s going on?” They said, “Just go back and keep setting up. You don’t need to know.” Apparently, they found the guy who stole his jewelry and ‘Pac and the big guy were stomping this guy in the middle of the street on the curb, people were yelling out the window, “Stop it, leave that boy alone.”
Kain: I brought a girl that I liked up to the set that day. It was this dude Stretch [Tupac’s friend, the rapper Randy “Stretch” Walker], who is no longer alive, ‘Pac and Treach and they were stomping this kid out. It was one of the neighborhood kids that ‘Pac had taken under his wing, let him inside the trailer and the kid stole some jewelry out the trailer. They caught him on the block and fucked him up. Meanwhile, the girl that I brought was thinking that this was the movie and it’s a scene that they were shooting. And it’s not. This kid was getting stomped the fuck out.
Holmes: Some of his costars told me that when he saw the response to Bishop, he sort of took on that persona as his own.
Marlon Wayans (Actor, Above the Rim): I met Tupac when he was filming Juice; I knew Omar Epps from high school. When we hung out it was a different ‘Pac. He was a performing arts high school kid, so we understood each other. We were the creative kids who got jumped by the Decepticons for our Walkmans. We played pranks on each other, laughed with girls. He was real friendly. That’s who he was. He might have been gangster because he was passionate. Once Tupac went to jail and came out of jail, I think that experience changed him. It put out that little fun fire in him. When he came out, it was “Fuck the world.” After jail, it seemed like he gave up on the smile of the world. It fueled that Bishop in him. I think Bishop was always a part of ‘Pac. I wouldn’t say ‘Pac became Bishop.

Treach: People sometimes are like, “I know ‘Pac before Juice and he was cool and then he turned into Bishop.” Nah. We were in the projects. We would go get weed, go to parties. There was so much Tupac put into the Bishop role. It wasn’t like he was stepping outside of his boundaries. He put all of his pain from growing up—moving state-to-state and seeing different environments. A lot of his family was getting killed or were on the run. He put all of his hurt up into that so that was undeniable.
Hopkins: ‘Pac put more of a twist on the character than the character put on him. One time, me, him, Omar and the producer David Heyman—he produced all the Harry Potter movies—tried to get a cab. We couldn’t get a cab. This is back when cab drivers wouldn’t stop for young Black guys. Me, ‘Pac and Omar couldn’t get a cab so David had to step up and hailed a cab down. That there started a debate between the cab driver and Tupac. During the whole cab ride, Tupac and the cab driver were having a debate on why he should stop and not judging. That, right there, is where Tupac locked the character of Bishop in.
Dickerson: Did the lines blur? I think a little bit. I think a lot of Bishop is probably a lot of Tupac.
Mopreme Shakur (Stepbrother): The people didn’t know Pac at the time. They knew Bishop before they knew ‘Pac. ‘Pac was just on tour with Digital, he was hardly on any of those songs. When people saw him, they would be like, “Bishop, Bishop.” He hated that. He hated when motherfuckers called him Bishop all the time.
Laresca: He always called me Radames. Every time he saw me called me Radames.
Allen Hughes (Director, Menace II Society): I took Tupac to the Paramount lot to see Juice. It was the first time he’d seen Juice. It was also the beginning of the end. He came out of that theater and was never the same again. He saw the power of cinema that night. He saw his future embodied in that character and he became obsessed with that—the machismo part, the gangster. He did a phenomenal job with that role and that’s when he went off the rails. He became utterly obsessed with thug life and with anything that related to becoming that Bishop character whether it was getting more tattoos, getting in altercations. He wanted to be that character, that hothead. He saw in that moment—“This is how I’m going to be a star.”
He knew that there needed to be something else to make him the James Dean or Marlon Brando of hip hop—the reckless abandon, the Rebel Without a Cause of hip hop and he hadn’t figured that out until he saw Juice that night. Tupac always had a dark side but that was balanced with a light, jovial funny side. He was far from a thug. The biggest misnomer of Tupac was that he was a gang banger, fighter, thug. He wasn’t. One of the best roles he played was that role. Tupac’s greatest role was playing Tupac. That whole thing was a character. In real life, Tupac was a very demure person. He was not that thug dude, at all. He was very thoughtful, sensitive, well-read, well-studied, book smart, fell in love easily with everyone and everything.

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French Montana Sued For Sexual Assault, Battery And Emotional Distress

French Montana is being accused of sexually assaulting an intoxicated woman, according to a lawsuit filed in L.A. Superior Court on Thursday (March 26). The accuser claims that she was sexually assaulted at the rapper's home two years ago.

The woman, identified only as Jane Doe, is suing for assault and battery, sexual battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence and more. Montana, his Coke Boys Records imprint, and employee, Mansour Bennounare, are named in the suit, which alleges that on or around March 28, 2018, the woman was invited to a recording studio where Montana and Bennouna were “working.” The documents allege that Montana and Bennouna were “drinking and using drugs” in the studio and offered her drinks, before inviting her back to Montana’s home in Hidden Hills, Calif.

The woman allegedly arrived at the home at around 6 a.m. Thirty minutes later, the woman claims that she stepped outside to phone a friend but was “lucid” and “unable to carry a conversation.” The woman went back inside Montana’s kitchen and although she “wanted to leave” she was urged to “take a shot,” the documents assert.

After being given a drink, the woman says that she blacked out and was therefore unable to give consent to “engage in any sexual activity” but remembers “several men” coming in out of the bedroom. She believes that Montana was one of the men.

The accuser says she woke up on a couch in a room “filled with curtains” at around 1 p.m. She was “confused” and “intoxicated” and felt pain in her pelvic area, vagina, and lower back, the suit states. The lawsuit also alleges that Bennouna was laying behind her in a “spooning manner,” groping her, and rubbing his genitals against her back.

The woman began “crying hysterically” because she believed that she had been drugged and raped. She grabbed her things and left the home. According to the suit, the woman went to a local hospital where a rape kit was administered. She also reported the alleged incident to police, the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit goes on to allege that the defendants earn money from “promoting drinking, taking drugs and having sex with women,” and use their business as a front to “lure” women to their homes where they provide them with drugs and alcohol to have sex, with or without consent.

“Defendants had a longstanding practice of inviting women to their recording sessions, or choosing women at bars, and inviting them back to the Hidden Hills house which is also a hub of EMPLOYER DEFENDANTS business enterprises,” the lawsuit reads. “There Defendants would supply the women with drinks and drugs, with the purpose of engaging in sexual acts with them, without any regard to whether or not they consented, or were able to consent.”

The alleged assault caused the woman to have anxiety, “extreme emotional distress,” flashbacks, depression, and prevented her from continuing to pursue a career in modeling and acting. The suit is asking for a jury trial.

Montana, whose birth name is Karim Kharbouch, hasn’t publicly responded to the allegations.

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Prince’s Siblings Reportedly File Petition To Get Money From His Estate

The heirs to Prince’s fortune want his estate to pay up. According to The Blast, the music legend’s siblings, Norine, Sharon and John, filed legal documents in hopes of green lighting “payment for service and efforts provided to the Estate.”

The trio claims that while “others” have been compensated, they have yet to be paid after putting time and energy into “business matters” related to the estate, which is being run by Comerica Bank.

“As this Court is aware, the Estate has now been on-going for over three years,” the documents reportedly state. “In this time, millions have been paid to the Personal Representatives, their accountants, attorneys, and legal advisors.”

The heirs accused Comerica of making money decisions without notifying them, which the bank has denied. Last year, a Minnesota judge denied the siblings’ request to limit the bank’s power over the estate.

Prince’s brothers and sisters want a judge to force Comerica to compensate them so that they can get out of financial ruin, including paying legal bills.

The Purple One’s estate is worth an estimated $200 million (down from $300 million) since his death in 2016. Prince died without a will but a judge ruled that his estate would be split between his six half-siblings. His brother, Alfred Jackson, who was 1/6 of the estate heirs died in 2019. Last December, Prince’s sister, Tyka Nelson, sold off a chunk of her percentage of the estate to cover legal bills.

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Here’s How New Orleans Is Being Affected By Coronavirus

New Orleans has twice as many COVID-19 cases per capita than any other county or parish in the country. This time last month, the Big Easy welcomed over a million visitors for Mardi Gras, which likely contributed to the diseases spreading rapidly around the city.

New Orleans registered its first case of COVID-19 on March 9. As of Friday (March 27), the city reported more than 20 additional coronavirus-related deaths, bringing the total to 119. The death tole increased by 19% in one day, according to the Times-Picayune. That said, the number of those who have contracted the disease could vary due to a lack of testing in Louisiana, and around the country. The state reported 441 new cases as of Friday.

Male patients account for 43% of the COVID-19 cases in the state, while women make up 57%. The largest number of cases by age group are adults between the ages of 50-59. Orleans Parish, which is Louisiana’s third most populous parish behind East Baton Rouge and Jefferson Parish, reported 57 of the 87 coronavirus-related deaths.

At least 24% percent of New Orleans residents are living below the poverty line, and 1 in 5 households are without a vehicle, further limiting access to testing and treatment, USA Today reports. The poverty stats, compounded with lack of access to proper health care and those with underlying medical conditions, contribute to the spike in cases.

“New Orleans is preparing to mobilize in a way we hope we will never see again in our lifetimes,” New Orleans Homeland Security Director Collin Arnold said, per USA Today. “This disaster will define us for generations.”

The city is running out of hospital beds, and ventilators could be next on the list. Of the more the 773 reported patients hospitalized over COVID-19, 270 of them require ventilators. Louisiana has close to 2,800 ventilators statewide. While the city works to gain access to necessary medical supplies, others are stepping forward to help feed NOLA residents.

Earlier in the week, New Orleans Saints player Drew Brees and his wife, Brittany, announced that they are donating $5 million to various charities including Second Harvest Food Bank, Ochsner Health, Jimmy Johns, and Waitr, to prepare and deliver over 10,000 meals per day throughout Louisiana.

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Brittany and I are committing $5,000,000 to the State of Louisiana in 2020. The priority now is helping our communities get through this tough time. After considerable research and conversations with local organizations, we will be mobilizing our partnerships with Second Harvest Food Bank, Ochsner Health Systems, Walk-Ons, Jimmy Johns, Smalls Sliders and Waitr to prepare and deliver over 10,000 meals per day throughout Louisiana for as long as it takes to children on meal programs, seniors, and families in need. Let’s all do our part, maintain hope, and get through this together.

A post shared by Drew Brees (@drewbrees) on Mar 26, 2020 at 8:31am PDT

In neighboring Mississippi, there are 570 confirmed COVID-19 cases and eight deaths out of 3,139 tests administered. Mississippi also has more women battling the disease (59%) than men (41%).

According to the U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams, New Orleans, Detroit, Chicago and other “hot spots” will have a worse week next week than they had this week.

In Milwaukee, the city’s Black community is being hit harder than any other group in the state. All of the eight deaths (five men and three women) in Milwaukee County were Black people, and seven of the eight were Milwaukee residents.

Philadelphia has at least 475 cases of the disease with over 2,200 confirmed cases statewide. On a positive note, more than 21,000 people  have tested negative for coronavirus in Pennsylvania.

With over 42,246 people testing positive for the disease, New York tops the list of coronavirus cases around the country and has been receiving the brunt of nationwide press around the pandemic, while states like Michigan, which falls fifth on the nationwide list, aren't generating the same amount of national headlines. The Midwestern state has been considered an epicenter  for the disease, and cities such as Detroit and Flint, where residents have been without clean water for years, are among the most vulnerable.

As of Thursday (March 28), the U.S. confirmed more cases of COVID-19 than any other country in the world. Over 100,000 people tested positive for the disease and while hospitals are still in need of critical supplies and testing kits, there is one small glimmer of hope: the fatality rate in the U.S. remains at less than 10% (1607 confirmed deaths), and over 2,000 people in the country have been reported as recovered from COVID-19.

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