In 1992, cinematographer Ernest R. Dickerson made his directorial debut with Juice. Starring Omar Epps, Tupac Shukur, Khalil Kane, and Jermaine Hopkins, Juice is a thrilling coming-of-age movie centered around growing up in Harlem.
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The film tackles heavy subject matter such as police harassment, poverty, and gang violence. Juice is also credited for Tupac’s breakout role in cinema. The classic movie celebrated its 30th anniversary this month, and some interesting behind-the-scenes facts have newly been disclosed.
Video Music Box founder Ralph “Uncle Ralph'' McDaniels, who worked as the film’s associate producer, revealed that Diddy was interested in taking on the role of Bishop (played by Tupac). During a recent Instagram Live chat with Fat Joe, McDaniels reminisced on the conversation he had with the Bad Boy mogul.
Apparently Diddy was fired from another movie set and was looking for a new acting gig. He later glanced at the Juice script and was fascinated by the lead role. When Diddy asked to play Bishop, McDaniels replied “...We got somebody to be Bishop already, the only one that’s casted is Tupac.” McDaniels recalls Diddy responding “Nah, I’m from Harlem, Ralph, just think about it. Think about it. The script, that’s me.”
Tupac went on to star in the acclaimed film, which grossed 20 million dollars at the box office. McDaniels, who was also the film’s consultant, further shared that he was responsible for hip hop legends Queen Latifah, Tretch, Jazzy Joyce, and DJ Red Alert’s Juice cameos saying, “That whole [DJ] scene that’s me. I called all those people…”
The entire Juice snippet begins at the 36:13 minute mark of the Instagram Live interview.