Demetrius Shipp Jr.’s turn as legendary MC Tupac Shakur in the forthcoming biopic, All Eyez On Me. He spoke to Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show on Monday (June 12) to discuss that he never expected any of this to happen, primarily since he was an average Joe just mere years ago.
“I was just working regular jobs,” Shipp told the host of what he was doing before landing the part of the California rapper in the Benny Boom-directed film. His regular jobs included Target, Sam’s Club and Sears.
In 2011, the Carson, Calif. native was still working at Target when he decided to send in an audition tape for the film.
“I really wasn’t gonna do it, so I waited ’til the last day, sent it in 30 minutes before the deadline,” he explained. He later shared the video on Facebook, and his father- who produced Tupac’s “Toss It Up,” shared it with the creator and producer of the film. The rest, as they say, is history.
As for the facial similarities between Shipp and Tupac, the 28-year-old notes that the comparisons began in high school.
“In 10th grade, I was kicking it with the seniors,” he said. “I introduced myself, and they were like ‘yeah, Demetrius is cool, but we’re gonna call you Pac.’ That was it! It could be worse!”