It’s not often that simply bearing a striking resemblance to a celebrity can catapult you to stardom. But, that was exactly the case for our Man Crush Monday Demetrius Shipp Jr. Unless you’re a bonafide rap fan it’s unlikely you would have heard of Shipp Jr prior to Friday 16th June. This day, which would have been the rapper’s 46th birthday, saw the release of the highly anticipated biopic of late rap star Tupac Shakur, All Eyez On Me, of which Shipp Jr has the starring role.
With no previous acting experience whatsoever, Shipp Jr. was encouraged to audition for the leading role after a friend saw a casting call back in 2011. Six years on and the former retail sales assistant has become an overnight star. With the acting bug having well and truly bitten Demetrius Shipp Jr. hopes to build on his high profile introduction to the industry by becoming a full time actor. So, this may not be the last time we see the budding actor…
Why we love him
Least likely to…play Tupac in another movie. Shipp Jr. was quick to emphasis that although he enjoyed playing Tupac it was merely a foot in the door. The aspiring actor expressed his desire to not be typecast so gave a firm ‘no’ when asked if he would ever reprise the role again.
Impress him with…a 90s R&B playlist…
Mention…dedication. In a bid to really sink his teeth into the role Shipp Jr. ate, slept and lived the role…literally. He says, “If I was about to eat, I would turn on Tupac. 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.”
And another thing…Shipp Jr.’s father is a record producer and has production credits on Shakur’s ‘Toss It Up’.