×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Straight Outta Compton’s’ Lakeith Stanfield on Playing Snoop Dogg

Lakeith Stanfield first turned heads in 2013’s SXSW breakout “Short Term 12,” but 2015 may be the year he becomes truly ubiquitous. After portraying Jimmie Lee Jackson in “Selma,” the 23-year-old actor and musician will soon be seen in Don Cheadle’s “Miles Ahead” and Oliver Stone’s “Snowden,” as well as playing Snoop Dogg in N.W.A. biopic “Straight Outta Compton.” He’ll also play the lead in an untitled true story of a Brooklyn man wrongfully convicted of murder.

How much research did playing Snoop require?

Early on, I think Snoop was a little bit shy, and a bit reserved, but he played it cool. Wherever he went, you couldn’t help but be a bit high by his energy. I saw that in him and tried to channel that into the character. I did have to change up my voice to fit his, go into a higher register. I rap in the film as Snoop as well, so I had to try really hard to get down all of his mannerisms. I had heard his music growing up, obviously, but I wasn’t really a die-hard fan of him or N.W.A, so I had to listen to a lot of it to get a better comprehension and use that to inform the role.

You stayed in character on and off camera in “Short Term 12.” Did you do the same on “Straight Outta Compton”?

On ‘Short Term 12,’ I did go a bit method, but just because it seemed the best way to portray the role the way I wanted to. Because I didn’t have any formal training, it seemed like I had to be really in it all the time, so that when the camera turned on, I was already there. But now that I’ve done more roles, I’ve seen that sometimes that sort of tactic can be applied, but sometimes it’s not necessary; sometimes it doesn’t work. With Snoop, I did do a little bit of that. I tried to constantly be in his sort of energy, be real cool on the set. (My co-stars) helped me out a bit — everyone referred to me as Snoop. Now, I didn’t leave set still doing Snoop or anything. But a big inspiration for that was just trying to be in a high mind-state a lot of the time, just having that disposition of always being high. It made it very fun.

What was it like working with Oliver Stone?

He was different from anyone else I ever worked with. He’s a really nice guy, a really brilliant guy, and he has this great intuition. There were times on that movie where I wondered if I was doing a good enough job – you always have that paranoia, especially if it’s about a topic like Edward Snowden. You want to make sure you’re being as accurate as you can. But he had a really incredible way of making me feel comfortable, and like I was a part of the team. That is one of the more important qualities for a director that’s overlooked sometimes — everyone needs to feel like they’re an integral part of the film, and not just some little cog in the machine.

More Film

  • Mammoth Films Festival to Open With

    'In Fabric' to Open Mammoth Lakes Film Festival

    Director Peter Strickland’s “In Fabric” starring “Game of Thrones” star Gwendoline Christie is set to open the fifth Mammoth Lakes Film Festival, the organization has announced today along with their film lineup. The festival in Mammoth Lakes, Calif., will take place May 22-26 and feature several films’ U.S. debuts. In addition to the narrative feature [...]

  • Kristen Stewart'JT LeRoy' Film Premiere, Arrivals,

    Kristen Stewart: 'Charlie's Angels' Reboot Is 'Woke' but Still 'Funny and Weird'

    “Charlie’s Angels” has made the jump to 2019. Kristen Stewart, who stars in the Elizabeth Banks-directed reboot as one of the Angels, says the classic ’70s franchise has been updated to modern times without losing its pulpy action. “At one point I think we said it was woke and grounded, and everyone was like, ‘Wait, [...]

  • Calamity Jane

    Indie Sales Acquires Remi Chayé's Female-Driven Animated Feature 'Calamity' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Paris-based company Indie Sales (“My Life as a Zucchini”) has acquired Rémi Chayé’s animated film “Calamity – The Childhood of Martha Jane Cannary,” the French helmer’s follow up to his critically acclaimed feature debut “Long Way North.” “Calamity – The Childhood of Martha Jane Cannary” tells the story of the 12-year-old Martha Jane who must [...]

  • Scarlett Johansson on 2020 Election, Avengers

    Scarlett Johansson on Running for Office: 'Maybe at Some Point'

    President Scarlett Johansson, anyone? While she may not be running for office at the moment, Johansson says a campaign may be in her future. “Maybe some time in the future,” she says when asked if her political activism has inspired her own aspirations. “I think the greatest way to effect change is in local politics. [...]

  • Circus of Books

    Netflix Acquires Tribeca Doc 'Circus of Books,' Exec Produced by Ryan Murphy (EXCLUSIVE)

    Netflix has acquired worldwide rights to the documentary “Circus of Books” ahead of its premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival. Rachel Mason wrote and directed the pic, and also produced it along with Kathryn Robson, Cynthia Childs, Camilla Hall and Adam Baron. Ryan Murphy, Josh Braun, John Battsek, Rhianon Jones and Gerald Herman executive produced. [...]

  • Santa Fe Studios Netflix

    Santa Fe Studios Competes With Other New Mexico Stages for Streaming Business

    Albuquerque Studios entered the spotlight last October when it was purchased by Netflix. While the complex is clearly the jewel in the crown of New Mexico’s production infrastructure, with eight soundstages totaling 132,000 square feet, 100,000 square feet of production offices, a large backlot and support space, it’s not the only modern studio facility in [...]

  • Jennifer Kaytin Robinson Someone Great

    'Someone Great' Director Jennifer Kaytin Robinson on Reimagining the Rom-Com

    Jennifer Kaytin Robinson, creator of the MTV series “Sweet/Vicious,” recently made her feature debut with “Someone Great,”  now streaming on Netflix. The film follows three friends as they navigate relationships and work in New York City.  Here, the writer-director opens up on reimagining the rom-com, and women changing the face of Hollywood. The three young [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content