When Diddy lost out on an iconic Tupac Shakur film role
(Credit: Alamy)

Old School Archives

When Diddy lost out on an iconic Tupac Shakur film role

Diddy has starred in many movies since he transitioned from music to acting. However, in the 1990s, he wasn’t considered suitable for various problematic reasons, all of his own makings. During Bad Boy Entertainment’s heyday, Diddy (known then as Puff Daddy) was respected as a musician. Still, Hollywood wasn’t ready to extend him that amount of esteem he had in the music business.

The late Tupac Shakur was not only an incredible rapper but also a talented and highly versatile actor. In 1992 the icon was cast in his first movie as Roland Bishop in Juice. The film would effectively become the musician’s launchpad into the world of Hollywood. Pac played the fictional character of Bishop, a Harlem teenager who negatively influences his friends by ushering them into a life of crime and ultimately stabbing them in the back.

The movie role was given to the West Coast rapper, and it became a rich part of his iconography. However, it has recently been revealed that Diddy wanted to play the character of Bishop but was denied the opportunity due to previous incidents involving the producer that had caused him to become a walking liability. The reason why Juice‘s producers were unwavering in their decision to refuse Diddy the slightest chance of being involved in the film.

When Tupac first auditioned for the role, the movie’s producer Neal Moritz didn’t even know he was and most certainly was unaware that the ‘Do For Love’ rapper studied acting at the Baltimore School for the Arts. However, he still granted Shakur the opportunity to try out. In an interview with Cathy Scott, the author of the posthumous Pac biography The Killing of Tupac Shakur, Moritz recalled, “He was dynamic, bold, powerful, magnetic; any word you want to use,” He proceeded to unveil that the musician was so incredible they ceased further auditions, detailing, “Tupac was it. We cast him right on the spot.”

However, following this, Diddy (real name Sean Combs) came knocking at the producer’s door, demanding he be given a chance to audition. Still, everyone involved in the film hastily shut him down. Speaking with the iconic Terror Squad rapper Fat Joe on Instagram, videographer Ralph McDaniels who was involved in the production of the 1992 film, detailed why Combs was fiercely denied, explaining, “When we shot Juice, Andre Harrell was shooting [a movie that] Puff was working on. However, Puff got fired from that movie!”

The videographer continued, “I remember going to the producers and just feeling it out and [they were] like, ‘Absolutely not! Absolutely not! We already got ‘Pac, that’s the only person we have, and Puff just got fired from [Strictly] Business … and we know him. He can’t come on this set.’ So, I was like. ‘Alright, no problem.'”

In the ’90s, Combs’ was effectively blacklisted in Hollywood following his string of firings. You can learn more about Diddy’s rejection in the news segment below.