Brandon T. Jackson is the actual Black actor in “Tropic Thunder.” Not to be confused with Robert Downey Jr., who plays a Black actor. The 24-year-old Detroit native, best known for his stand up career, is one of Hollywood’s rising actors. Jackson recently chatted about his role in “Tropic Thunder.”
On how he landed the role in Tropic Thunder:
I auditioned … a lot. I didn’t get the role at first. It was given to another rapper/actor. Months had gone by and I get a call from Ben Stiller and he said how do you still feel about coming down to Hawaii to do “Tropic Thunder.” I was like don’t play with me right now, I’m in Ralph’s right now. I’m eating ramen noodles. I’m watching gas prices go up. Don’t play with me. They thought I was too young at first. I look a lot older in the movie.
On who taught Tom Cruise how to dance:
Ben Stiller called me and told me he needs Tom to do some dances and if I knew any he could do. I was like call Robert, you wrote him Black. I told him about the G5 from Huey’s video.
On Robert Downey Jr. being in character:
I got on set, and Ben yells cut and he [Robert] still goes. Ben yelled cut and he was like I’m going to go back to my trailer and listen to my Kanye West CD’s. One time he showed up late to the set and he was like you know how we are always late. But it was funny. I felt like it was my uncle on set.
On when he saw Robert in blackface for the first time:
I would be offended if he was doing the whole stereotypical Black thing. He really became a Black man and it just shocked me.
On who makes him laugh:
Chris Tucker. Eddie Murphy in his young days was a beast.