Call them the doppelgangstas. As far as real-life stories go, the NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton has some of the most uncanny casting we’ve ever seen. And of course it helps that the movie’s quintet includes the brood of one of the iconic rappers they play.
“I was sitting in the kitchen watching Sports Center and he comes in and tells me he wants me to play him in a movie,” O'Shea Jackson Jr. told us about the moment his father, O'Shea Jackson (aka Ice Cube), first approached him about making his acting debut. “He got me a coach and for about two years I was working on the role…. I’ve heard these stories my whole life, so to reenact them, it’s pretty surreal.”
Related: Review: ‘Straight Outta Compton’ Is An Exhilarating Hip-Hop Epic
Yahoo Movies hit the film’s Santa Monica set last fall to meet the five young stars playing the founding members of the seminal gangsta rap group whose hard-edged lyrics confronted police brutality and other social issues, which you can watch in the video above. In addition to Jackson Jr., the drama features Corey Hawkins (Non-Stop) as Dr. Dre, Jason Mitchell (Contraband) as Eazy-E, Neil Brown Jr. (Fast & Furious) as DJ Yella, and Aldis Hodge (A Good Day to Die Hard) as MC Ren.
The young cast members posed with the four remaining members of NWA (Eazy-E died of AIDS in 1995) on the day we hit the set, so you can get a full comparative view of the crazy resemblances:
“I was an NWA fan, and it’s crazy because my great-grandmother was talking about it, and she’s 96 years old,” said Hawkins. “I don’t know if she’s a fan but she definitely remembered the music and how much it meant to the culture at the time.”
Straight Outta Compton opens Aug. 14. Watch Ice Cube and O'Shea Jackson Jr. talk about keeping it in the family: