×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Straight Outta Compton’s’ Jason Mitchell Goes From Kitchen to Kudos Heat

Jason Mitchell was working at a restaurant in New Orleans when he had the opportunity to audition for the role of Eazy-E in “Straight Outta Compton.” Now his blistering, star-making turn is earning the newcomer Oscar buzz.

How did you land the role of Eazy-E?

I had been day-playing in New Orleans for a while, but it was nothing big enough to change my life, or pay my bills even. But I read with Meagan Lewis, from New Orleans — she’s a huge casting director there. It took them (a few) weeks to call me back. And they were like, do you want to come in for a callback? Just fly to L.A.” I was like, “The way my bank account is set up, I don’t really know if I can afford to come there and still get the no.” So they call me back 30 minutes later. I’m at work on the line, cooking, and they’re like, “Gary would love to Skype it with you.” I’m there trying to hold my composure together, but I’m like, “I think I got this.” So I go the next day to do the Skype session with him, and it was an hour and 17 minutes. But I booked it, right there.

How much did you know about N.W.A and Eazy-E?

I’m actually a huge Bone Thugs-n-Harmony fan, and that was one of the groups that he created. A few of their hit songs had Eazy-E on there, and I was like, “Oh, who’s this guy?” So I did a little research. I wanted to know the essence of who he was, try to create an opinion from what all these different people were telling me.

What did you have in common?

We are both very small people with very huge personalities. Everybody sees Eazy-E, and (thinks) there’s got to be some sort of gimmick. But what you see is what you get. And he was a marketing genius who figured out how to take himself and sell that. He knew exactly what people wanted. He wasn’t afraid to say certain things, and I’m kind of the same way. Anybody who knows me knows that I’m just here to put a smile on people’s faces.

Prior to this role had you done any rapping or singing?

I’m a big fan. But being an actor, you can be a chameleon. You get to live many different lives. Being on stage with all those people chanting your name and singing along with the songs — it’s an incredible feeling. But I don’t think it’s for me.

Watch the full interview:

More Film

  • ‘Bumblebee’ Again Tops Studios’ TV Ad

    ‘Bumblebee’ Again Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the TV advertising attention analytics company iSpot.tv, Paramount Pictures claims the top spot in spending for the second week in a row with “Bumblebee.” Ads placed for the sci-fi/action film had an estimated media value of $6.31 million through Sunday for 941 national [...]

  • Ryan Reynolds Stunt

    Film News Roundup: Ryan Reynolds' Michael Bay Film '6 Underground' Wraps Production

    In today’s film news roundup, shooting has wrapped on Ryan Reynolds’ “6 Underground,” BAFTA LA names new board members, and the WGA East honors longtime exec Randall Jasta.  PRODUCTION Michael Bay’s Ryan Reynolds-starrer “6 Underground” has wrapped production. Netflix and Skydance Media completed principal photography in Abu Dhabi on the action-adventure, which reportedly carries a $125 [...]

  • Bruce Springsteen on Broadway

    Film Review: 'Springsteen on Broadway'

    Hope you like the 69-year-old version of Bruce Springsteen’s face, because it’s virtually all you’re going to see for the two hours and 40 minutes of the filmed “Springsteen on Broadway” — other than the bare brick wall of the theater casting a dim glow in the background beyond those gray sideburns, and two songs’ [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    'A Star Is Born,' 'Vice' Lead 2018 Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Nominees

    The Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) announced their nominees for the 8th annual AACTA International Awards on Tuesday. “A Star Is Born” and “Vice” lead the pack, with five and four nominations respectively. The two leading films compete with “BlacKkKlansman,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and “Roma” for best film, while Nicole Kidman becomes the [...]

  • China's Government Orders Talent Home to

    After Golden Horse Awards Embarrassment, China Orders Talent Home for Huabiao Ceremony

    China’s government quietly ordered top Chinese talent back to the mainland from abroad this past weekend to attend a Beijing ceremony for its highest film industry honors, the loosely bi-annual Huabiao Awards. The move came just weeks after it directed mainland film executives and talent to snub after-parties and return home as quickly as possible [...]

  • Fotosintesis Readies Mexico-U.S. Immigration Animated Feature

    Fotosintesis Readies Immigration Animated Feature ‘Beast’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    BUENOS AIRES — Mexico City-based Fotosintesis Media, a joint initiative of Mexico’s Mantarraya Group and writer-director Miguel Angel Uriegas, is moving into pre-production this January on “Beast,” the third Mexican animated feature from the cause-driven entertainment label. News of the move comes as Uriegas presents at Ventana Sur’s Animation! forum 15 minutes of work in [...]

  • Scott Derrickson

    'Doctor Strange' Director Scott Derrickson to Return for Sequel

    “Doctor Strange” director Scott Derrickson has signed up for Disney-Marvel’s sequel. The studio, which had no comment, is about to start searching for a writer. Derrickson co-wrote the 2016 original with C. Robert Cargill and Jon Spaihts. Benedict Cumberbatch is expected to reprise his role as Stephen Strange, along with co-stars Benedict Wong and Rachel McAdams. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content