Ice Cube's son O'Shea Jackson Jr. talks the pressures of playing his dad in 'Compton' film
Corey Hawkins and O’Shea Jackson Jr. discussed their hesitations taking on the roles of iconic hip-hop artists upcoming N.W.A. in the upcoming biopic Straight Outta Compton.
Portraying his father, Ice Cube, Jackson admitted he was uncertain about committing to the project, but knew he didn’t want to watch another actor on screen in the role.
“My dad, he’s all about building a confidence within all of his kids, you know, all four of us, and those are the kind of lessons that I’ve took into the film,” Jackson told theGrio.
“You know I had never been in anything, and you hear ‘Universal’ and you hear ‘Gary Gray‘ and jeesh,” he added. “If I don’t take this role, I’m gonna be in the theater watching somebody else do it and not feel like it’s right. And if I take it and mess up, I’m embarrassed for the rest of my life.”
So far both the film and Jackson have received largely great reviews, making it safe to say Jackson won’t be embarrassed for the rest of his life.
Corey Hawkins, who just completed a run on Broadway as Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet, told theGrio he intentionally skipped his first audition for the role of Dr. Dre, fearing he wouldn’t be able to pull it off.
“I thought run the other way because I’m not gonna be able to do it,” Hawkins joked about taking on the role. “I said ‘I don’t know if I’m the man for the job.'”
The young actor said after Dre gave him his stamp of approval, his fears subsided. “Sometimes that’s all you need, is for somebody to say, ‘You’re the man for the job, and I want you to take this and run with it but I just want you to represent us well.'”
Jason Mitchell, who took on the role of the late Eazy-E, credits director F. Gary Gray with creating a safe environment, enabling him to really let loose during some of the film’s emotional scenes.
The new film follows the highs and lows of the five young men who joined together to form the revolutionary rap group N.W.A. The west coast artists made headlines nationwide with their unapologetically honest lyrics and depiction of street life.
Straight Outta Compton hits theaters Friday, August 14.