Photo Credit: Paras Griffin for Getty for Universal Pictures
Universal Pictures hosted an advance screening of their new film, ‘STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON’, on Friday, July 24th at Regal Atlantic Station in Atlanta, along with a Q&A with cast members O’Shea Jackson Jr., Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, producer Ice Cube, and director F. Gary Gray. The Q&A was moderated by executive producer, Will Packer.
The screening was well attended by music’s top celebrities and influencers including: Usher, Ludacris, B.O.B., 2 Chainz, Big Krit, David Banner, Da Brat, Lil’ Scrappy, DC Young Fly, Polow Da Don and more. ‘Straight Outta Compton’ hits theaters Friday, August 14, 2015!
The Q&A, moderated by executive producer Will Packer, gave insight into what it was like for the casting process and what the process of preparation and executing the roles consisted of.
Ice Cube spoke first about his feelings on the film,
“Having our story told in a masterful way by F. Gary Gray and to see my son get an opportunity like he got when I did ‘Boys in The Hood’. As a parent you want your kids to step up at the moment of truth, and when they do it you are just overjoyed. I’m on cloud 9, 10, 11, and 12.”
F. Gary Gray shared that the movie was personal for him because he grew up in the same neighborhood with Ice Cube, and he started his career with him with ‘Friday’;, and he was there when Ice Cube left N.W.A and went solo. He shared that he did several of Ice Cube’s solo music videos. He also shared that all of his movies prior prepared him for this film, and he believes this is his best work.
O’Shea Jackson Jr. shared that the film had a level of importance to him that was unmatchable.
“It was about N.W.A and brotherhood but more importantly it was about my family’s legacy. It became my obsession. I couldn’t let someone else have that and fumble.”
Will Packer asked Ice Cube what it was like to have his biopic come to the big screen and be portrayed by his son. He also asked Ice Cube what that did to his psyche.
“I knew my son was in good hands because we did a lot of pre-production. F. Gary Gray is a masterful director at bringing our stories to life. We did everything we could do to prepare.
F. Gary Gray also shared that O’Shea Jackson Jr. wasn’t handed the role just because he was Ice Cube’s son. He explained that there were actually two other choices just in case he didn’t show up and show out.
Corey Hawkins shared his experiences in preparing for the role of Dr. Dre.
“I knew this was going to be a big movie, and I knew it would be a lot on our shoulders. I remember going through the ringer. The audition process was not easy. Dr. Dre kind of took me under his wings and said he wanted it to be iconic. He said, I just want to get the legacy right and whatever you need I got you.”
Jason Mitchell wasn’t able to have Eazy-E mentor him for the role, but nonetheless he shared what enabled him to kill it on the screen!
“It was not an easy thing at all. I looked at it like Eazy’s life and my life run hand in hand. If I didn’t do this I was going to go back to my old life. It was so much morale around me. He (Eazy-E) is such an icon, but first he is a regular man. Cube and Dre also helped me with a lot.”
He also shared that he had to practice his accent for 6-8 hours a day and learn how to walk and talk like he was from California. He also had to gain weight by eating 4,000 calories a day!
Remember the film hits theaters August 14th!
Check out more photos from the ATL Screening below. Photo Credit: Paras Griffin for Getty for Universal Pictures.
Synopsis: In the mid-1980s, the streets of Compton, California, were some of the most dangerous in the country. When five young men translated their experiences growing up into brutally honest music that rebelled against abusive authority, they gave an explosive voice to a silenced generation. Following the meteoric rise and fall of N.W.A., ‘Straight Outta Compton’ tells the astonishing story of how these young men revolutionized music and pop culture forever the moment they told the world the truth about life in the hood and ignited a cultural war. Starring O’Shea Jackson Jr., Corey Hawkins and Jason Mitchell as Ice Cube, Dr. Dre and Eazy-E, Straight Outta Compton is directed by F. Gary Gray (Friday, Set It Off, The Italian Job). The drama is produced by original N.W.A. members Ice Cube and Dr. Dre, who are joined by fellow producers Matt Alvarez and Tomica Woods-Wright. Will Packer serves as executive producer of the film alongside Gray.