Thursday, October 11, 2007


A casting call in New York for Fox Searchlight's upcoming Notorious B.I.G. biopic attracted nearly 100 hopefuls from across the U.S. and Canada looking to play the late rapper on the big screen. According to the New York Times, the casting call at Chelsea's City Stages on West 19th Street in Manhattan required participants to audition in front of Biggie's mother Voletta Wallace, his former manager Mark Pitts, who is also producing the film, and a group of casting agents. “Finding Biggie is going to be a task in itself,” Voletta Wallace, the rapper’s mother and a producer of the film, said in a video on Her son, who died a decade ago, at 24, in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles, stood about 6 foot 3, weighed nearly 300 pounds, and had a cocksure, easy-flowing but hard-to-imitate style. “Anyone who felt that they can fill that shoe, can do that swagger, can try the lyrical tone, I’m welcoming them,” Ms. Wallace said. And on Saturday swagger, at least, was in great supply.

Each person trying out was asked to perform a few lines from the rapper's track Warning. Some folks who auditioned arrived in attire worn famously by B.I.G., including fur coats, fedoras, sunglasses, Timberland boots and patterned Coogi sweaters. Others chose to rely strictly on acting skills.

After the jump, check out pics of several Biggie wanna-bes.

"I was looking at every aspect - the way he talked, the way he moved, the way he blinked his eyes," said Brooklyn native Ray Louisma, who also told the Times he spent nearly two weeks studying Biggie's videos and listening to his music. "I spent like three hours in the mirror trying to make my eyes look cross-eyed, because sometimes Biggie looked like he was cross-eyed and sometimes he didn't. I actually have a more of high-pitched voice than Biggie does, because I sing. So I gave myself a cold: cold showers, slept with the fan on so my voice would be a little deeper.”

Also, Tupac was there.

“When you think about Biggie, you gotta say Tupac,” said Josh Du Love, 27, a Bed-Stuy resident who came in the guise of Biggie’s foe, Tupac Shakur, complete with shaved head and bandanna. “I said I’d come here, try to start up some beef.”

Is it me or do the majority of these dudes look like a combination of Lil Cease and Aries Spears?


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