They even brought in family to continue the NWA legacy.
When the idea was first raised for a biopic about pioneering gangster rappers NWA, everyone knew they had to get it right. After years in the works, Straight Outta Compton tells the story of Dr Dre, Ice Cube, Eazy-E, DJ Yella and MC Ren.
'Straight Outta Compton' is O'Shea Jackson Jr.'s first venture into acting
"Anybody can make an NWA movie," says Ice Cube. "I can't stop anybody from making one, so I said, 'If y'all wanna do it right, you should do it with us.' And they came to their senses and started developing the movie with us."
"I didn't even want to do the movie," says Dr Dre. "Cube actually quarterbacked it. He went out and got the first draft for the script done. I read it and was like, 'OK, we can work with this. We can turn this into something.' I was in."
Finding actors to play their younger selves was a challenge. Corey Hawkins, who plays Dre, says he felt the weight of history on his shoulders. "We didn't take it lightly," he says. "They placed a story in our hands that we had to do justice to." He also credits working with Dre and Cube, as well as Yella, Ren and Eazy's widow Tomica Wright.
Perhaps the most astonishing casting is O'Shea Jackson Jr., who plays his father Cube. "NWA is my family's legacy," he says. "And I'm just so thankful the ball was in my hands. I was able to cement this in history. It was hard work, auditioning, getting callbacks, doing two years of preparation. Although, if you really want to be technical, I have been doing my research for 20 plus years."
Hawkins felt humbled to get the job. "I'm the guy coming from Juilliard," he says. "I just did Shakespeare on Broadway, so I had a moment where everybody is like, 'I don't know if he is going to be able to do this.' But at the end of the first day, Dre pulled me to the side and was like, 'You're the man for the job. You got this role. Don't worry about mimicking me. You know we could have easily found somebody who look just like me, sound just like me.' Actually, my stand-in damn near looked more like him than me!"
This biopic gallops through the career of groundbreaking gangsta rappers N.W.A, working its way through...
In the 1980s, the streets of Compton were brutal. Five friends were brought together by...