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Unknown Actor Sought to Play Notorious B.I.G. in Biopic

For probably the first and last time, Notorious B.I.G. has something in common with Anne of Green Gables: Both are the central characters in a movie and both characters will be played by unknown actors found through online video submissions.


Billboard is reporting that, similar to the Anne of Green Gables casting process, filmmakers of the Notorious B.I.G. biopic will audition actors and non-actors alike via videos submitted to Foxsearchlight.com/notorious or Biggiecasting.com. Apparently, the only Hollywood type they could think of to play Notorious B.I.G. (real name Christopher Wallace) was Forest Whitaker:

"As it relates to the individual Christopher Wallace - his looks, his stature, what he represented, the swagger, the sensibility of the man - all those elements are very difficult to find, no matter where you go," [producer Wayne] Barrow said. "In the typical Hollywood world, no one came to mind outside of Forest Whitaker who could capture that essence genuinely."

However, at 46 years old, Whitaker is nearly twice the age that Wallace was when he died. Thus, they decided to seek out an "average" person for the role, someone who could get down Wallace's "swagger, his style, his energy and smile." According to Barrow, "We thought it would be best to open it up to the world and ... give somebody the opportunity to step into his shoes and fulfill their own American dream."

Wire Image/Chris Walter

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