Straight Outta Compton not only absolutely killed at the box office and with the critics, it gave us a whole new generation of talented Black actors. O'Shea Jackson Jr., Corey Hawkins and Jason Mitchell were virtual unknowns before the N.W.A biopic made them all stars, and one of them had a past that didn't look so promising.
So, which of the three up-and-comers spent the night of his very first movie premiere in jail? That would be Jason Mitchell, who played Eazy-E in Straight Outta Compton. The actor, who caught a fair amount of Oscars buzz for his performance, opens up to People about the mistakes he made as a young adult.
"My first big film was Contraband and around that time I got caught with some contraband," he admits. "It was not going well. I was kind of selling drugs and doing the whole thing. Acting was starting to get to that point where it could take that next step and build." Unfortunately, Mitchell got sidetracked by his illegal activities and missed his first big premiere.
"I'm in jail, looking at the TV screen like man, I'm supposed to be going to this premiere right now," he recalls. "It was an international premiere, a huge situation, I'm sitting in jail like an idiot. I cannot be serious, I couldn't even take myself seriously then. I piled up everything because in jail you can't share your feelings, you have to pile up all those things and think, what can I do to make the next step for my own life, how can I take self preservation to the next level?"
The incident was a wake-up call, Mitchell says, and he dedicated himself to getting his act together. "They offered me some time and the way God worked the whole situation out, not only did I become a free man that was outside the walls, but I was off probation, I was off all these things because I had such good behavior," he says. "I just happened to have a mishap, happened to be in the wrong spot at the wrong time but God has a whole situation worked out for me and here I am with a story to inspire."
Watch the Straight Outta Compton stars name their favorite rappers in our exclusive interview, below:
BET.com is your No. 1 source for Black celebrity news, photos, exclusive videos and all the latest in the world of hip hop and R&B music.
(Photo from above: Kevin Winter/Getty Images, Kevin Winter/Getty Images)