Cuba Gooding Jr. returned to television sets this season with his portrayal of O.J. Simpson in FX’s new American Crime Story limited series. But rewind the film clock back 25 years, and Gooding had another ground-breaking role that helped to cement his acting presence in Hollywood.
In an interview with Essence, the 48-year-old reminisced on his role as Trey in Boyz N The Hood. “It was a special time for all of us because not only was it my first film, but it was John Singleton’s directorial debut,” he said. The famed actor also spoke on his breakthrough role, stating that fans still refer to him as that character. “They’ll go ‘Give me the gun, Trey’! or they’ll go ‘Ricky!'” he said.
When asked about all of the memes and parodies that have been influenced by the 1991 cult classic, including Snoop Dogg’s hilarious rendition of Trey and Nia Long’s emotional scene, one fan-made visual stands out in his mind.
“When [Ronda] Rousey, the MMA fighter lost, there was this picture of me holding Ricky with her face all beaten up,” he said. “It’s interesting when you have a film that’s affected society 25 years later and it’s still relevant, the images of it are still relevant.”