BY NY MAGEE
The stars of “Straight Outta Compton” which opens in theaters on Friday, Aug. 14, recently held a press conference in Los Angeles and EUR was there to cover it.
Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Executive Producer Ice Cube, Director F. Gary Gray, and N.W.A member DJ Yella answered an array of questions about the making of the film, with Ice Cube saying: “The movie shows the why, not just the where-when, but why did we do this kind of music. People gotta understand that where we come from forged N.W.A.”
“It happens to be a perfect time for the movie. 26 years later, the music still sounds fresh, it’s not outdated,” DJ Yella said. “It’s keeping up with time times right now.”
During the press conference, Cube said the film has been a dream project of his since he started producing movies in 1995.
F. Gary praised the actors and their dedication while preparing for their roles.
“We went through DJ school. I had these guys record the entire “Straight Outta Compton” album. Dub-C worked with them on how to perform on stage, and how to walk, talk and absorb the L.A. culture and West Coast hip-hop culture, and they did it in such a short amount of time.
It’s a great feat what these guys did and delivered such a natural performance.”
“Gary use to say to us on set, just keep it in mind the power of what we were doing. We’re making history about a group that made history, said Corey Hawkins, who plays Dr. Dre.
He also revealed what Dre said to him after their first meeting. Dre said, “Don’t worry about mimicking me. We could’ve easily found someone who looks just like me and sounds just like me.
I’m just interested in you capturing the essence of what we all represented individually.”
On portraying Eazy-E
Jason Mitchell stuns with his breakout performance as the late Eazy-E. “I feel like I hit the lottery,” Jason said. He was moved to tears during the press conference when F. Gary commended him for his delivery of raw emotions while specifically filming the scene where Eazy-E learns he’s HIV positive.
“Part of the reason why we picked Jason was because of his background. He had heart and street credibility, and I knew when he performed that scene, he tapped into his experience on the street,” F. Gary said.
Reflecting on legacy
Ice Cube touched on N.W.A.’s legacy, saying: “It’s amazing that after all this time the group still provokes thought, controversy. It still provokes the same energy that it did back then. We did a lot to change the texture of entertainment. We opened it up to allow artists to truly be themselves.”
Cube’s son, O’Shea Jr, – who plays him in the film, explained how he researched his father’s younger years in order to prepare for the role: “I would look at old interviews to see how they were joking around or get some of his lingo, just to put myself back in that era.”
Cube was asked how he believes relations with police have evolved since his days of being harassed by LAPD as a young teen growing up on the streets.
“What we wanted to show is the humiliation that we faced because that’s the real issue,” Cube said.
“We understand that cops have to be a little heavy-handed with criminals but we don’t understand why they gotta be that way with citizens. We want the audience to feel like, ‘What if this is happening to you?’ That’s why we did these songs. It wasn’t because we don’t like police. If somebody break in my house, I’m calling the damn police.’’