Viewers will be introduced to a rising actor who stepped into the shoes of Tupac Shakur once the long-awaited biopic, All Eyez On Me, finds a home in theaters nationwide next summer.
Although Demetrius Shipp Jr. is fairly unknown now, he’ll surely become a household name once the Benny Boom-directed movie debuts. In an interview with Page Six, Boom shared why he decided to grant Shipp the opportunity to play the “Keep Your Head Up” rapper.
Stating that he feels Shipp was the right actor for the life story told through film, Boom added, “It was important to get an unknown [actor] so people can lock into him and his performance versus any sort of baggage that another actor would bring.” He shared that depicting the likeness and spirit of Tupac “is just too important for hip-hop culture to mess it up.”
Boom also spoke lightly on the discussions he had with Tupac’s mother, Afeni Shakur, before he was deemed to direct the biopic. “…It is interesting because we had conversations long before the movie was in play for me. And of course I get the movie and she [dies],” he said. “We spoke to his brother-in-law, his sister and various family members, as well as Suge Knight.”
Throughout the filming process, Shipp got acquainted with those who knew the upcoming Rock And Roll Hall of Fame inductee very well, including Tupac’s family members and Snoop Dogg. “…he was close with him and even before Death Row, he and ‘Pac had a relationship,” Shipp said in an interview with International Business Times. “He loves [the movie] and my portrayal of ‘Pac. He loves the story and everything about it. EDI Mean and [Young] Noble from Outlawz, they were with him a lot, especially E as they grew up with ‘Pac. He was there on-shoot everyday so he showed me much love and was very proud of my work.”
All Eyez On Me will hit theaters on Tupac’s 46th birthday, June 16, 2017.