Famed actor Leon explained what it was like working with legendary rapper Tupac Shakur in the cold classic “Above The Rim!”
During the height of his popularity, people thought that Tupac Shakur might have been an unpredictable troublemaker, but when it came down to working with people he respected, he totally got down to business.
At least that is what celebrated actor Leon believes.
In an interview with veteran journalist Allison Kugel, the man that played David Ruffin from the epic movie “The Temptations” told her that he was a true professional.
On her “Allison Interviews” podcast, he shared about meeting the Death Row artist on the set of “Above the Rim.”
He said, “Tupac had just shot at two off-duty police officers in Atlanta, and then he had some other court case going on, but I don’t know what that was. It could have been the rape charge, but I’m not sure. But the production got interrupted several times because of it.
“For me, I just never wanted to see a young talented brother hurt himself or not succeed,” he continued. “And that’s what I was seeing in Tupac. I liked him. I thought he was talented and had charisma, and everyone could see that, but his mind was on other things that were going to bring him down, and it was obvious.”
Leon, who also starred in “Cool Runnings,” “Waiting to Exhale,” “Ali,” and “Get Rich or Die Tryin’,” said, “It hurt me to see that because I wish he was here with us today. But everyone has their path. Everyone has to live their life the way they want to live it. That’s what I was seeing, just talent being wasted, is what I thought.”
At the end of this segment, Leon said that the “Hail Mary” artist was a fan and respected his cinematic work, which was reason enough for him to show up ready to work.
“[Tupac] was one hundred with me, and he told me from the beginning at the script reading, he said, ‘Listen, you’re not going to have a problem with me, because you’re in The Five Heartbeats.’ That movie was so revered by everybody. You usually get your props right off the jump (laughs,” he concluded.
Allison Kugel is a veteran entertainment journalist with more than three hundred long-form celebrity and newsmaker interviews published and syndicated, worldwide.
Her current episode of Allison Interviews on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify.