Not many films can cover 10 years, the lives of five different people and relate to today’s social relationships of African-Americans and the police with success. I can’t think of one, which is why I loved the movie Straight Outta Compton. Press Pass LA got the chance to sit down with the cast to talk about their experience filming such a hard-hitting movie.
“I wanted to make it really authentic and raw,” says the film’s director F. Gary Gray in a recent interview on The Breakfast Club. Part of his goal was seen with the selection of unknown talent for the main roles of Dr. Dre (Corey Hawkins), Eazy-E (Jason Mitchell) and Ice Cube (O’Shea Jackson).
Jackson, who happens to be Ice Cube’s son, wasn’t handed the role but auditioned for two years to claim his spot. “They didn’t come to mimic or pretend,” says Gray who put the actors in DJ classes and had them record the album Straight Outta Compton. Mitchell describes his experience as, “winning the lottery.” Each actor gives solid and believable performances that allows the viewer to be transported.
Don’t be surprised if you find yourself bopping your head in the theater. The music of N.W.A. is beautifully interwoven in the film. It may be nostalgic for some, new for others but reliving the time when gangsta rap took over our airwaves isn’t the reason this film was made.
“We opened it up for artists to truly be themselves and not portray a squeaky clean image,” Ice Cube says, we made this film “to show why N.W.A. was forged.” We see the connection of police humiliation and harassment with the lyrics from popular songs like “F**k tha Police.” The resemblance of scenes with today’s headlines is uncomfortable and sad, yet powerful.
Straight Outta Compton is a wonderfully made film that just may be a classic. As Gray put it “we are making history about a group that made history.”
Straight Outta Compton is in theaters Friday, August 14th.
Written by: Joresa Blount