The story of Tupac’s life, ‘All Eyez on Me,’ is taking the world by storm — but who is playing Pac? Here’s everything you need to know about Demetrius Shipp, Jr.
1. He has a family connection to Tupac.
At 28 years old, Demetrius Shipp, Jr. has landed the role of a lifetime playing Tupac Shakur. While he’s not related to the rapper, who would have been 46 on June 16, Demetrius’ father of the same name, worked with Pac on “Toss It Up,” the song that came out on 1996 and was featured on The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory. “My father’s relationship with Pac was something I was proud of,” the actor told Complex magazine. “I didn’t know anything about the [East Coast/West Coast beef] or anything. I was only [7-years-old]. I was too busy playing!”
2. Before he was an actor, he worked at Target and installed satellites for Dish Network.
3. He’s used to being told he looks like Tupac — and even being stopped by people because of it.
“At this point, there’s just too much to pinpoint only one. It’s all in fun! People will say I look like Tupac and some people will just stare,” he told PEOPLE magazine.
4. He was hesitant to take on the roll — but once he landed it, he dedicated his entire life to it.
He always aspired to do music, but acting was never something he had thought about. Friends and family convinced him to send in a tape, so he did so last minute. After signing on though, he researched non-stop. “If I was about to eat, I would turn on Tupac,” he told People. When I was going to sleep, I would turn on Tupac and watch that until I fell asleep. Throughout the night, it would just be playing so that if I woke up in the morning, the first thing I would do was watch Tupac.” Now he admits, “I love acting. This is certainly my thing, and I can’t wait to get on screen and bring my own character to life. I can’t wait for that next project. I want it to be just as potent, just as important to my career.”
5. He looks up to Jamie Foxx.
Demetrius told Complex that Jamie is one of his biggest influences, admitting, “If I could give people a smidgen of what he did with Ray [as Tupac] then I did what I was supposed to do,” he told the magazine.
HollywoodLifers, will you see All Eyez on Me?