Even more than twenty years after the release of "Juice," it's still looked back on fondly as a breakout moment for Tupac Shakur, the actor. And he almost didn't even audition to be in it in the first place.
"There were no actors that I felt could play these roles," the movie's writer and director, Ernest Dickerson, told Academy Originals, an Oscar-affiliated YouTube channel. "It had to be real. It had to be what was really going on in the streets."
He says they interviewed thousands of prospective actors -- and 'Pac wasn't going to be one of them. He came by the audition with Treach, from Naughty by Nature, who was reading for a role.
"[Treach] had this guy that was with him," Dickerson said, referencing Tupac, who was only 20 when the movie came out. "I said, 'What about you? You wanna audition?'"
Luckily, he did. He read for the role of Q, but Dickerson was already leaning towards Omar Epps, who ended up playing the role.
"I was having a hard time finding Bishop," he said of the character that 'Pac ended up playing. "And I said to him, 'Hey, man, can you stay longer and read for this role?'"
He went to prep the lines, came back, and left a lasting impression.
"He did a very good job," the director remembers. "As soon the door closed, we look at each other, we said, 'Wow, that's him.'"
Yup, he was the one.
If you haven't seen the movie, you should watch the whole thing. But in the meantime (or even if you have), let's check out this scene of the late rapper/actor doing what he did so well.