F. Gary Gray, the director of movies like Friday and Set It Off, has been holding casting calls in cities like Gardena, California, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, and Baltimore in attempts to find five actors that perfectly fit the roles of the Dre, Yella, Eazy-E, Ren, and Ice Cube. In an interview conducted by KCRW, Gray spoke about what he is searching for in potential candidates for the roles, saying:
Well it’s just a certain thing that a person from the hood has. There are times where a thespian can get there and give it to you, sometimes they can’t, and street credibility it’s just that thing. When you watch American Idol and they have that ‘It Factor’ – there’s a ‘Hood Factor.’ You get the authenticity when you’re in an environment likes this, and you have an open call, and I’ve been seeing that, and I’m pretty happy with it.
A possibility that Gary should consider is casting a fellow rapper. Andre 3000 is playing Jimi Hendrix in an upcoming biopic, Lil’ Mama played Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes in the TLC TV movie, and Gravy played Biggie in 2009’s Notorious. This can have mixed results though, as rappers tend to bring a certain authenticity without much on-screen experience.
Hopefully, F. Gary Gray’s insight will lead to great things for the upcoming N.W.A. film, which is set to be shot this summer, with intentions of being released next year.