Interview with Cory Hardrict on Tupac's Biopic 'All Eyez On Me'
Today is the day; the highly anticipated public release of Tupac Shakur’s biopic, All Eyez On Me. 2pac, arguably one of the music industry’s most prolific rappers, led an accomplished career and an eventful life despite having it all come to an end after being shot by a rivaling gang member at the early age of 25. To briefly commemorate and exemplify the rapper’s bad ass attitude, his last words were “fuck you,” to the first respondent cop at the crime scene. If that’s not good enough for you, get your ass to theater near you and watch the biopic, where you can find actor Cory Hardrict as Nigel, who Hardrict describes as “one of the most powerful and feared men in the hip hop community who befriended Tupac.”
The actor’s handsome face and commendable talent may seem familiar to you, as it’s not Hardrict’s first time on the big screen. Having appeared opposite Bradley Cooper in American Sniper, Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino and Scarlett Johansson in He’s Just Not That Into You, he’s had plenty of camera time with some of Hollywood’s most beloved, and All Eyez On Me is no exception. We talked to the actor who dished on his feelings for Pac, what to expect of the film and the fine line between personal and professional success. Check out the full interview below.
2017 is looking like a big year for you with multiple projects being released and others in post-production, right? Can you touch upon a few that you’re most excited for?
All Eyez On Me and Destined are both films I am proud to be a part of. Tupac was the most iconic rapper of all time who made a cultural impact so this project is big!! Destined is relatable to what’s going on with gentrification and family and I had the opportunity to tackle two very different characters. I can’t wait for people to see the film this fall.
Yeah, so All Eyez On Me is a big one. How did you land the gig?
The producer, L.T. Hutton, called me and said he had something for me and Benny Boom approved! So we got down to business. Hopefully the world will enjoy the art form of Tupac’s legacy!
Can you give us a general brief on what to expect of the movie? Maybe some overarching themes?
I expect the die hard Tupac fans to embrace how legendary and important Tupac was was for that generation. His message, his truth, his voice all helped shape Hip & Hop and his path allowed others to continue to speak the truth and keep his spirit alive by doing so. I take away that fearlessness he had as well and the way he opened up more people to the power and effect he had on all races.
Can you talk a little bit about your role as Nigel and who he is?
Nigel was one of the most powerful and feared men in the hip hop community who befriended Tupac in the 90’s…he taught Pac how to dress, changed his style up, protected him…Also didn’t take shit from anyone period! Or there would be problems, haha.
What does it mean for you to be a part of a biopic depicting the life of one of the most prolific figures in hip hop?
Feels great to be a part of this film because I grew up on Pac, his music got me through some difficult times in my life! It would either pump you up to play a basketball game or make you feel like changing the world! Grateful to be in this film, it’s been a dream come true.
Apart from covering a momentous time in the past, the film also seems appropriate for today’s political and social climate. Particularly regarding the arts and representation, do you think that this film shares a similar sort of impact that Moonlight did, despite it being a biopic?
Nothing is in comparison to Tupac, this man and his story sits on it’s own island. He was a revolutionary and wasn’t a afraid to speak up on social change. Moonlight was great though. Barry Jenkins is a genius. Hopefully he does my Huey P. Newton project!
This is far from your first major motion picture, when you look back at your career thus far, what are you most proud of?
23 years in the business with a nice body of work and it feels like I haven’t even started yet or really showcased my full abilities. I’m just grateful to be doing what I love.
To follow that up, what do you hope to accomplish? Personally and professionally, how do you define success? Do the lines blur between the two?
I would like to win the Academy award someday and just keep making people feel and connect with my work with a sense of reality and inspiration. I define success by having the joy of doing what you love and living in the moment. I think the lines can blur but I have been lucky enough to stay focused.
Is there anything else you’d like to include that we haven’t touched upon?
Just very thankful for this interview, thank you for taking the time to chat with me. I hope you enjoy the film!
Images courtesy of Nate Taylor
Stay tuned to Milk for more on actors to watch.