O’Shea Jackson, Jr. recently sat down to discuss his role as his father, Ice Cube, in the movie Straight Outta Compton. The 23-year-old, who looks just like his dad, already had the rapper’s mannerisms down and used it to his advantage during the long audition process.
That’s right, if you didn’t quite catch that, Ice Cube’s son actually had to audition for the part.
Straight Outta Compton, which opens on August 14, marks Jackson, Jr.’s acting debut. The film follows the rise and fall of N.W.A., which is credited with the start of gangster rap and the eventual call for warning labels on CD covers because of its incendiary lyrics. N.W.A. co-founders Dr. Dre and Ice Cube serve as producers for the film.
Ice Cube and Jackson, Jr. both sat down during an interview with the Associated Press. When asked how it feels to see his story brought to life by his son, Ice Cube said that he was “proud on a thousand different levels” and that he’s “never been this happy” with any project that he’s finished. He also noted that his son “owned it.”
Jackson, Jr. also discussed how it felt to wrap his dad’s words, saying that it was “cool to finally be on the other side. To have been looking at his movements and then getting them down. I had the time of my life.”
Jackson, Jr. also opened up about the arduous audition process for the film. “They put me through the wringer,” People quoted him as having said.
They put me through the wringer. For two years I was going to acting classes, learning techniques, going to auditions, callbacks, and things like that.
Ice Cube apparently made sure his son wouldn’t get special treatment during the audition and filming, admitting he knew people would assume his son was just given the job.
People also reported that Jackson, Jr. spent time training with acting coaches like Susan Batson, who works with Nicole Kidman, and Aaron Speiser, who works with Gerald Butler and Will Smith.