*This Friday, catch the first and final film performance of Pop Smoke!
Bashar Jackson stars in “Boogie” the directorial debut of multi-hyphenate Eddie Huang (“Fresh Off the Boat”). The coming-of-age story follows a basketball phenom (Taylor Takahashi) living in Queens, New York navigating teen angst, romance and rivals.
EUR correspondent Fahnia Thomas rapped with the writer about casting, IMDb profiles and supporting the homies.
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Q: Did you make Charlemagne Tha God (who plays Patrick) audition?
EH: No, the God is offer only! You cannot be the God and need to audition – he’s offer only!
Q: What was Pop Smoke’s casting and audition process like?
EH: I’m a Pisces so I’m very intuitive and go with vibes. I rarely look at IMDb profiles because when I was trying to get jobs my resume was kind of trash. I look at the person. With Pop – I have my ear to the streets – we started hearing “Welcome to the Party” and I was like, OH! This song is going!’ My best friend who is also the executive producer, Rafael Martinez, had been working with Steven Victor for years and he said, ‘Steven’s got Pop.’ Then I was like, ‘word!’ Plus, the assistant coach in the film, played by Despot, another one of my friends said, ‘Pop plays ball’…when you cast your friends and you’re all hanging out on set all day, one of your friends is gonna hear something. Within an hour we connected with Pop.
After his show in Connecticut he drove to my crib with nine of his friends and we played pick up. I could tell he could ball so then we ran lines. It was funny because his first couple of lines he immediately tightened up. I told him, ‘be you because acting isn’t a big switch up [from who you already are] just be you. Sometimes people in positions of power don’t give people a chance. They make them feel like you’ve never done this…[so they say] be careful about this, be careful about that. [I told Pop,] ‘I’m here because I want to see you get this job, I’m not going to pick on the things you can’t do. I said, ‘Pop even if you mess up the lines don’t worry about it.’
The Focus Feature flick also stars Taylour Paige (“Hit the Floor,” “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”), Jorge Lendeborg Jr. (from the “Spider-Man” universe, “Love, Simon”) Pamelyn Chee (“Princess of Nebraska”), Domenick Lombardozzi (“The Irishman”).
For more details on “Boogie” go to boogietickets.com or follow @boogiemovie | #boogie