BY MELISSA RUGGIERI/AJC Music Scene
On June 16, Tupac Shakur would have turned 46.
The deceased rapper will receive the ultimate tribute, though – the long-awaited release of “All Eyez on Me,” the biographical drama about the musical game changer.
Shot throughout Atlanta much of last year, as well as in Las Vegas, the film is directed by Benny Boom, whose credits include “Next Day Air” and “S.W.A.T.,” along with more than 200 music videos (Nicki Minaj and Robin Thicke among them).
Last week, three of the principals from “All Eyez on Me” – producer LT Hutton, actress Kat Graham (as Jada Pinkett) and actor Demetrius Shipp Jr. (as a doppelganger for Shakur) visited the AJC studios and talked with video journalist Ryon Horne about the film.
Hutton discussed how he followed Shakur’s “POV” to “fit the thru-line into two hours and 20 minutes.”
Graham talks about how she absorbed YouTube videos, movies and “any references I could get my hands on” about Pinkett to prepare for her role.
“The more I talk about her, the more I actually love this woman…This is not just some story. This was ‘Pac’s life. He would want Jada to be protected and she would want ‘Pac to be protected.” Graham said.
As for Shipp, he said he gained inspiration from a 17-year-old Shakur and wanted to convey how much of Shakur’s mother, Afeni, influenced the rapper’s upbringing.
Take a listen: