San Diego, CA- If Amiri Starr has his way, he’ll realize his dream of starring as the late, legendary rap artist Tupac Shakur on the big screen in Antoine Fuqua’s upcoming cinematic version of his life.
Shakur’s upcoming biopic was last reported to begin shooting in September, and will be directed by Antoine Fuqua (“Training Day,” “Tears of the Sun,” “Brooklyn’s Finest” ). In a recent interview, Fuqua stated he is looking to find a new face to fill the role. “I want to discover someone new. I want to go to the streets and find him anywhere he might be in the world,” stated Fuqua.
Amiri Starr wants to take advantage of the once in a lifetime opportunity, and has launched a grassroots, online campaign to attract Fuqua’s attention. In a riveting and realistic YouTube video performance, posted on his Facebook page, he passionately portrays the famous rap star.
After reading the announcement that Fuqua was looking for unknown actors to portray Tupac, Starr immediately set about to create a stunning portrayal of Shakur in a self-made audition video, posted at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhCT3oa2tYQ . In the reel, he demonstrates an astoundingly accurate depiction of the late rap legend who was tragically killed in September 1996.
Determined to be discovered, Starr created his audition tape in two nights, under extreme circumstances. In an effort to study Tupac thoroughly, he watched every second of video footage that he could locate on Tupac, and reread Vibe interviews conducted with the icon. He then recreated scenarios filming with a sole flip camera and a tripod. Both of his reenacted interviews took place in 1996 just before Tupac was killed. Starr worked to capture how it would feel to be shot, go to jail for a crime that you didn’t commit, and to be betrayed by the very people who you’d lived your life advocating for. He essentially transitioned into Tupac.
Filmed in an empty parking lot at 1:00 am, Starr rapped over Tupac’s songs, and recorded the music on his IPhone. He amazingly also filmed everything without wearing his contact lens, hoping to better resemble Tupac, even though his vision is -10.50 without them! Without any assistance, the aspiring young actor also took care of his seven month old son off camera while producing the video.
A talented writer, poet, actor, comedian and stay at home father by day, the San Diego based thespian threw himself headlong into his audition video, adapting many of the rapper’s physical trademarks, from his bald head, bodily mannerisms, and his mix of New York and Southern California accents.
Although he has read about other people vying to play the Hip Hop artist, Starr believes he has what it takes to fully capture Tupac’s genuine essence. “In contrast to the others that I’ve seen who want the role, I feel like I take this more serious than merely memorizing some lines, throwing on a bandanna, screaming “west side” and thinking that I’ve got him nailed. I’ve done the character study even after the audition tape, and I’ve really sought to discover the inner workings and mysteries of the man,” reveals Starr.
As a dedicated Tupac disciple, Starr has listened to over four hundred Tupac songs and read various books about his life, including Afeni Shakur’s (Tupac’s mother) biography. He has also studied the people, places and things that influenced Tupac the most.
Stating Tupac’s influence on his life, Starr confessed, “Pac kept me alive! There was a time growing up when I didn’t care if something happened to me, when I didn’t want to be here due to various circumstances. Then, I’d turn on “Lord Knows” or “Hold Ya Head,” and it kept me strong. Tupac’s music kept me from taking a gun and blowing my brains out at 16.”
Acting since a young child in local plays across the nation, and performing stand-up since college, the ambitious entertainer and writer has written two feature length films, two plays and three short films.
Hoping to make his debut on the big screen, Starr looks forward to auditioning for the role and to meeting Antoine Fuqua in person. “I would truly be humbled and honored to portray the biggest, most polarizing African-American revolutionary of the past century. ”
To find out more information, or to contact Starr directly, visit his Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cast-Amiri-Starr-as-Tupac-Shakur-in-the-new-Biopic/129760240387257?v=photos#!/pages/Cast-Amiri-Starr-as-Tupac-Shakur-in-the-new-Biopic/129760240387257?v=wall and view his audition tape at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhCT3oa2tYQ .