NEW YORK — Beanie Sigel wants to play Biggie Smalls. Just a few days ago, the Philadelphia MC with the deadly wordplay auditioned for the lead role in the Hollywood version of the Notorious B.I.G.’s life story. He says without a doubt, he’s the best man for the job.
“Yeah,” Beanie smiled, while sitting in the Def Jam offices on Tuesday, describing what inspired him to go out for the part. “The fact that I’m a huge Big fan from the gate is why I did it.
“Then taking myself outside of myself and looking back, who else better to play that role, man?” he added. “That’s not me being biased or tooting my own horn. I’m not comparing myself to Biggie career-wise or lyrically, but to pull that off, and have people believing that, I don’t think nobody else could play that role better than I could. I know how much passion I’d put into it. I know how far I would go. I would treat that like Jamie [Foxx] did ’Ray.’ ”
Beanie — who can list theatrical releases of “State Property” and its sequel among his acting credits — is all too familiar with the fans who hold B.I.G. dear to their heart and will scrutinize who the film’s producers cast as their hero. He’s one of them as well, which makes him all the more serious about wanting to bring Biggie’s life story to the silver screen.
“To me, dudes like Big and Pac are special n—as,” he said. “You don’t f— with n—as’ legacies. I wouldn’t do [the movie] just to say I played the role. I don’t know nobody else in the rap game who could do it and pull it off, as far as who you believe, who’s lyrical enough and fits that image. If I’m watching that joint, I wouldn’t just want to see an [ordinary] actor. Some people might feel some type of way to see Beanie Sigel [playing] Biggie, I don’t know. But I’d love to have a shot at it.”
Sig has not yet heard back from his audition but remains optimistic.
“You know how they say in Hollywood; ’Don’t call us, we’ll call you.’ We’ll see. But if I was to get it, I’d love it.”
Beans will have to face some competition, however. The filmmakers are trying to look at everyone before they make the final decision. Biggie’s biopic, titled “Notorious,” is being directed by George Tillman Jr. (“Men of Honor,” “Soul Food”) and the producers have been holding open casting calls for the movie’s lead.
Meanwhile, Beanie’s music career is getting a full-scale relaunch. His next album, The Solution — his follow-up to 2005’s The B. Coming — has a tentative release date of December; the first single is called “All of the Above” and features R. Kelly.