Civil Interview: The Cast of ‘ALL EYEZ ON ME’ Talks Preparing For The Film, Their Roles & More
by Lupe LLerenas
Demetrius Shipp Jr (Tupac Shakur)
When did you first hear about Tupac’s biopic, and what drew you to audition to play Pac?
Demetrius Shipp Jr: Back in 2011, one my closest friends told me about the auditions. I wasn’t too sure on auditioning but he was like common you already get told you look like him, you have to do it. However, I waited until the last day to audition. I hadn’t told anyone. It was only my friend, and me who knew that I was going to do it. My pops didn’t even know until I uploaded my part onto YouTube (uploading my audition was part of the audition process), and that’s when my dad found out. He shared it on Facebook, and everyone started to find out. 2012 came around and I was getting word that the film was going to continue, however, the directors at that time weren’t sure if was going to happen so I was back to square one. Then 2013 was here and the idea of it was up in the air once again. However, it wasn’t until LT and Benny came along and really took it on upon themselves to make it happen and roll with it. LT was immediately impressed by my performance, and when I got the final call saying that I had the role… Man, it was surreal. I still remember that day. I just sat down and the tears started to flow. I will foever relive that moment!
Your father worked for Death Row Records when you were younger. Did he give you any advice when preparing for the Tupac role?
Demetrius Shipp Jr: What I wanted to know were the intimate details, and when I was younger, my father and Tupac had just develop a relationship as friends so he shared some details. My pops told me that there was times when Pac would come into the studio and would start ranting on some issues he was dealing with behind closed doors, and that’s what the kind of stuff that I wanted to know. At the end of the day, I wanted to embody everything. My mission was to give people Tupac’s presence from beginning to end.
What was the hardest part or scene for you to film?
Demetrius Shipp Jr: The death scene. When that scene came around, we waited for the last day to film it and for everyone to see. To know that his potential, his accomplishments, his amazing work was cut short in such a small period of time, that was real heavy. It was mentally and physically a tough day. Many people couldn’t even stay on the set. There was people that grew up with Pac and who knew him whom were on set that day, and couldn’t pull through.