Demetrius Shipp Jr.

All eyes on him…

Total Film - - Teaser -

At­lanta na­tive Demetrius Shipp Jr. may be the spit of leg­endary West Coast rap­per Tu­pac Shakur, but the con­nec­tions are more than surface deep – Shipp Sr. pro­duced Shakur’s ‘Toss It Up’, while Shipp Jr. went deep to por­tray Tu­pac in biopic All Eyez On Me, an at­ten­tion-seiz­ing de­but per­for­mance. “I’ve caught the act­ing bug. I love it. I’m go­ing to do even bet­ter in my next role.” How did you get in­volved with All Eyez On Me?

I au­di­tioned back in 2011. My friend con­vinced me to do it, so I sub­mit­ted it through Face­book and YouTube. My fa­ther had seen it, so he shared the video with [ pro­ducer] L.T. Hut­ton.

How did you pre­pare?

The big­gest thing was watch­ing so much footage and do­ing my best to du­pli­cate the man­ner­isms, the body lan­guage, as well as do­ing ex­ten­sive re­search. I had to get into the Shakespeare, to study the Black Pan­thers, it was deep. I wanted to know the hu­man side, what he was like when he woke up, the side that no­body could see.

How much did you learn about Shakur mak­ing this film?

It gave me in­sight into the man, the per­son, the things that he was deal­ing with, the choices he made, but why he made those choices. I never knew he was en­gaged. I didn’t know the re­la­tion­ship be­tween him and his mother. I never knew he was sit­ting in jail with a num­ber one al­bum dur­ing a sodomy case. There’s so much to the story that peo­ple don’t know,

I be­lieve we cap­ture it well.

What’s next?

I’ve cur­rently got some things on the ta­ble. The next role is piv­otal to where I go with my ca­reer as an ac­tor, so I want to take the right thing. I want to take some­thing that pro­pels me. I want peo­ple to be like: “OK, now this man is se­ri­ous about his craft.”

ETA | 30 June / All Eyez On Me opens late r this month.

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