Pop Smoke to Make Posthumous Acting Debut in New Movie Next Year
There were levels and layers to Pop Smoke's skill set during his career. Following the beloved Brooklyn drill rapper's tragic death back in February, he'll be making his posthumous acting debut next year.
According to a report from Deadline on Thursday (Dec. 10), Pop will be appearing in the Focus Features film Boogie, which will be released on March 5, 2021—less than a month after the one-year anniversary of his death.
While Pop Smoke's role in the film isn't explicitly clear, the film is about a gifted basketball star named Alfred "Boogie" Chin from Queens, N.Y., who has dreams of making it to the NBA. However, his parents have other plans for Boogie and want him to focus on obtaining a scholarship to a prestigious college. The film tells the story of Boogie, played by Taylor Takahashi, maneuvering through a new relationship, high school, his basketball rivals and his parents' expectations.
Boogie is also Eddie Huang’s feature directorial debut. Huang's memoir, Fresh Off the Boat: A Memoir, was adapted into the ABC television series of the same name.
Huang spoke of Pop Smoke's charisma when the late rhymer auditioned for the role. In The New York Times' June article chronicling Pop's final days before he was shot and killed in Los Angeles earlier this year, Huang explained that the rapper's acting ability was captivating.
"Pop shows up to the audition—Palm Angels head to toe—and he’s just a kid, but he has the voice of 50 Cent and Paul Mooney," the director said. "You can tell he’s weathered, he’s an old soul. Within two takes, you could see the swag just come out of nowhere. He explodes on camera. I stopped the audition right there. He can turn emotions on a dime. He could be funny. He can be mean. A lot of actors just don’t have the depth of emotion and experiences, but because of what Pop’s gone through, he has a tremendous well to draw from."
Huang continued, "He gave me a thousand percent. They were tough 16-hour days, overnights, and he shot five overnights in a row. Kids were coming on the bridge to watch us shoot the scenes. We would play Pop’s record. All our actors, the extras, the kids on the bridge watching us shoot scenes, everyone was doing the Woo dance. It was pretty special."
With the coronavirus pandemic impacting the movie industry as well as the music industry, it's unclear if the film will premiere in theaters. Nonetheless, look out for the Grammy-nominated rapper on a screen near you next year.
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