Dominic L. Santana: ‘All Eyez on Me shoot felt like real Tupac concert’

Tupac actor Demetrius Shipp Jr. has called the role a once in a lifetime part.

All Eyez on Me actor Dominic L. Santana has praised Demetrius Shipp Jr.’s realistic portrayal of late rapper Tupac Shakur.

The pair star alongside each other in the new biopic, with Dominic taking on the role of feared record label boss Suge Knight.

When each actor was asked his highlight from the shoot, they both recalled filming a re-creation of Tupac’s show at The House of Blues, a historic gig that turned out to be the rapper’s last ever recorded performance.

“I was saying to everyone around me, ‘This is the closest you’ll ever get to seeing Tupac live,’ and it really was,” Dominic told Flaunt magazine. “When Demetrius came out – it was real. Everyone was screaming, cheering, dancing. The energy was just electric. Demetrius was reaching his hand out into the crowd, and people were grasping it, tears coming down their faces – it was amazing.”

As for Demetrius, who is making his big screen debut in Benny Boom’s true life tale, he was blown away that the 900 or so extras stayed for every single take of the scene.

“I always wanted to know what it feels like when hundreds of people are with you, under your spell as a musician, feeding off your energy. It was once in a lifetime,” he smiled. “We did the scene 10 times or something, and usually the extras start peeling off, getting restless. That didn’t happen. They were totally there with me. It was more like a concert than a film shoot.”

Tupac’s rival Biggie Smalls, who was killed six months after Tupac’s own murder, Faith Evans and Jada Pinkett Smith are also portrayed in the film, which hits cinemas from 14 June (17).

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