While out and about in Los Angeles, toofab.com caught up with filmmaker Benny Boom on Wednesday (June 26). Discussing his 2017 biopic on Tupac Shakur, All Eyez on Me, Benny revealed that he had first approached Nipsey Hussle to star as Snoop Dogg in the film.
Since his early days as a rising MC from the blocks of Slauson Avenue and Crenshaw Boulevard, Nipsey had always been compared to the West Coast icon for rocking cornrows and their swaggering builds.
“We didn’t have any other person that we wanted to play him,” Benny said. “It was just a lot going on.”
Unfortunately, it all came down to a matter of timing. Nipsey ultimately passed on the role as he was tied up with work he was doing for his community, as well as music.
“It’s crazy, because I didn’t realize, as much as I knew Nipsey, I didn’t realize how much he was driving things in his community,” the director continued. “To take him out of [Los Angeles] for that amount of time that we needed him to come to Atlanta where we shot, [it] would’ve just threw him off his square a little bit. The timing didn’t work out.”
According to Benny, he linked up with Nipsey again one year later to play a key role in his televised series All American. Although the role he was considering Nipsey for ultimately went to Demetrius Shipp Jr., who starred as Tupac in All Eyez on Me, the producers offered Nipsey another role to play.
In the CW series, Shipp Jr. plays a Crenshaw gang leader. Boom didn't say what role Nipsey was being looked at to play, although it was supposedly a major role.
“Nipsey was supposed to be in another key role, but it was either Grammys weekend or something like that and he was tied up,” Boom went on. “He didn’t get a chance, and they had re-written the whole thing for him.”
Despite that, the show is reportedly going to honor Nipsey’s real-life story in the upcoming second season.
“From what I’m hearing from the writers, this season of All American, there’s going to be a lot of Nipsey stuff in there.”
Watch the full interview below:
(Photo: Paras Griffin/Getty Images and Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc)