Rapper-turned-director RZA was in awe of T.I.’s acting skills after casting him in his Netflix film, “Cut Throat City.”
The “Whatever You Like” hitmaker has been honing his on-camera talents in recent years on TV shows like “House of Lies” and “Single Ladies,” and movies such as Marvel’s “Ant-Man” franchise and “Dolemite Is My Name.”
RZA was truly impressed by what he saw after originally approaching his Wu-Tang Clan bandmate Method Man for the role of drug lord Lorenzo ‘Cousin’ Bass.
“He totally shocked me and blew my mind,” RZA told syndicated columnist Allison Kugel, revealing T.I. was a late addition to the cast of the action heist movie.
“I had been developing the film for five years, and I always wanted Method Man to play the role of Cousin, but he told me he wasn’t into the bad guy roles right now.”
Another actor who made quite the impression on RZA was Kat Graham, who also boarded the project at late notice.
“I got lucky to get Kat,” he confessed about “The Vampire Diaries” star. “We had developed her role for another actress who became unavailable about two weeks before we were shooting. Then our agent said that Kat Graham read the script and was interested, and would I be interested to talk with her? We did a FaceTime and she said exactly what I needed to hear.”
“Kat Graham really shows that it’s not just beauty in her, but it’s her strength and expression,” he gushed of her portrayal as the main protagonist’s wife, who steps up to help her man as they become embroiled in criminal activity.
“I’m glad that she became the anchor of that family, and she did it beautifully,” RZA added. “She could have played it pretty and sexy. Even though she was beautiful on screen, it was natural. She was strong to go and fight for her man.”
“Cut Throat City” also features Ethan Hawke, Wesley Snipes, Terrence Howard, Isaiah Washington, and Shameik Moore.