Urban Magazine June 2017 - Page 67

Do you feel that the full essence of Tupac was conveyed in the film? Will we get a full sense of the multi-faceted Tupac Amaru Shakur, or will it center solely around his acting/rap careers? You will definitely get a sense of way more than just Tupac the rapper and artist. You will see the relationship that he had with his mother; one of the most profound relationships in his life. He had strong women in his life. His mother Afeni, of course Kidada, and Jada. You will see how each of them shaped his life, and how he affected theirs. You will get an intimate look into his life. This was the ultimate role for Demetrius Shipp Jr.—we have to give all the credit to him for having the ability to embody the essence of Tupac. There were days when it was not Demetrius—it was like watching Tupac walk through the door when he arrived on set. Demetrius did his homework. He connected with Tupac, and Tupac connected with him-- I have no doubt. With such a varied blend of acting roles under your belt, what would you like people to know about you as a person? There are a lot of things, I don’t really know where to start. I am more than just a person in front of the camera. One of my passions is to be behind the camera and give actors (especially women) jobs. In order to do that I am trying to create jobs, so I am writing. Ultimately I want to direct and produce. I want to pioneer a path and widen it for women of color. I am so far from the glamour involved in being an actress; I am more comfortable in basketball shorts and a cut-off tee writing. I want to build a fortress for us, that empowers all women. Is there anything else you would like to share about upcoming projects? I just finished shooting a movie called Til Death Do Us Part. It stars Taye Diggs, Stephen Bishop, and Robin Lee. That comes out in October, which is also domestic violence awareness month. My character is in an abusive relationship. I’m really proud of this one, it’s a movie that really stretched me as an actor. Emotionally, physically and mentally I was all over the place. So much so that I thought I would have to apologize for leaving. I wanted to do the character justice—it was very emotional. I am really excited for that to be released. I am eager to see what is to come, eventually I will be the one calling the shots. - trisha vaughn URBAN | 67