For years, conspiracy theorists have whispered that rapper Tupac Shakur is still alive — and one look at Marcc Rose could make you a believer, too. Rose has a small role as the late rapper in the new N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton, and his resemblance to Shakur (who was killed in a drive-by shooting in 1996) is uncanny, to say the least. In an interview with Yahoo Movies, the 23-year-old Brooklyn native talks about auditioning for the role, meeting Dr. Dre, and getting to know Tupac’s family. Watch the video above.
Even though he’s a doppelgänger of the “California Love” rapper, Rose tells Yahoo that he still had to try out for the role. “They called me in… I’m in there sweating bullets,” he recalls. “And I auditioned, and they called me within a couple hours of me sweating bullets.”
In fact, the role of Tupac was not originally supposed to be in the film. Rose says his character was added after audiences at test screenings asked, “Where’s ‘Pac?“ But once he got on set, Rose was welcomed by the cast and crew — including Tupac collaborator, original N.W.A. member, and Straight Outta Compton producer Dr. Dre.
Marcc Rose (left) and Tupac Shakur.
“Dre came to set, and that was crazy for me,” says Rose. “We were outside, on break, and he pulled up in the big, black Escalade. And he got out of the car and looked immediately at me. And when he looked at me, he was like, yeah.”
The most emotional part of his movie journey, however, was meeting Shakur’s family. Rose tells Yahoo Movies that Tupac’s mother, activist and philanthropist Afeni Shakur, treated him like family during filming. “I met with his mom, a legend in her own right,” he says. “And they just took me in and embraced me as if I was their son.”
Straight Outta Compton is in theaters now.
Watch the ‘Compton’ cast talk about their hip-hop research below: