Kat Graham dishes about her role as Jada Pinkett Smith in Tupac biopic
Since Biggie’s biopic, “Notorious,” came out in 2009, we’ve been waiting on Tupac’s turn to have his life story hit the silver screen. Last year, our wishes were granted with the announcement of “All Eyez On Me,” named after one of his most popular albums.
We’ve seen who got the coveted roles of Tupac (Demetrius Shipp, Jr.), Amen Shakur (Danai Gurira), Biggie (Jamal Woolard), and Suge Knight (Dominic L. Santana) to name a few, but we all wondered who would play Jada Pinkett Smith, one of Tupac’s closest friends.
In January, it was announced that Kat Graham of “Vampire Diaries” fame would take on the role. From the beginning it was clear that Kat and Jada had a lot of physical similarities, but as filming went on, Kat and the other actors around her realized the similarities went far beyond that.
‘[We’re both] musicians and producers and actresses and tiny and sassy, so it works. I think it’s going to work. It’s going to be good,” said Kat in an interview with the Daily Mail UK.
Recently, she sat down with Joy Stokes of XONecole to give a in-depth explanation of what the role means to her.
“I’ve been working on a biopic called “All Eyez on Me” about the late Tupac Shakur and Jada Pinkett. I’m playing Jada. It’s so important to me, the work I’m doing on this project. Because Tupac and Jada saw something different for themselves when they were growing up.
They wanted to be more than what the industry tried to peg them as.”
Furthermore, Kat said she’s been inspired to challenge Hollywood’s status quo through Jada’s innovative and take-charge attitude when it comes to carving out spaces for black creatives and content.
“All this development with T.V. and film. Having a Black president and having Black directors. All this stuff, from my perspective, has really only blossomed in the past few years. Where the audience is seeing more than the slave movie or the drug addict or the funny best friend. It’s still an issue. You want me to not talk about it? I’m going to talk about it. It’s still an issue. I’m going to challenge it. But I can’t challenge it by just creating the way that we’ve been programmed to create. Because so often we’re not in the room with a Black writer or a Black director.”
“All Eyez On Me” is in the final stages of filming and is expected to be released nationwide on November 11 of this year.