Director Allen Hughes says Tupac Shakur would have won multiple Oscars and given Denzel Washington stiff competition.
Starting his acting career with Ernest Dickerson movie, Juice, Tupac instantly won the hearts of viewers and critics. Coming from an acting background as he attended the Baltimore School for the Arts, Tupac continued to appear in six more films such as co-starring with Janet Jackson in Poetic Justice.
Appearing on The Rich Eisen Show, director Allen Hughes spoke about Tupac’s acting abilities and his potential if he had survived that infamous Vegas night back on September 7th of 1996.
“If he had been here, Denzel would have stiff competition. He was that talented,” said Hughes. “Denzel and Tupac share one thing in common and I’ve seen them all. I’ve been with world class pimps, Charismatics. All over the world. The “It” thing you know in the streets or in the music business. Denzel and Tupac, I seen when they walk in a room, the emotional intelligence is off the charts. The Social intelligence is off the charts. The genius level of social intelligence. The difference is that Denzel is wise and very in control of his emotions and can control his emotions, but Tupac can’t.”
Denzel Washington took home Best Actor award back in 2002 at the 74th Oscars for his performance in the 2001 film Training Day.
Directing Tupac’s first three music videos, Allen Hughes saw a star through his video lens, something he had never seen before as stated by the director in a previous interview. Allen Hughes also instantly became aware of Tupac’s “It” factor, when meeting each other for the very first time.
“I met him in a Waffle House in 91 in San Francisco with all of Digital Underground which he was a part of. But he was not famous yet. His first album 2Pacalypse Now had not dropped. Juice had not come out,” explained the Dear Mama docuseries director. “And I’m sitting at this Waffle House and there’s this 10-year-old at the end of the table. Shock G, Money B, all the personalities were there, but he stood out as the funniest. He was roasting everyone at the table. The most charismatic. And there’s just something about him.”
“Tupac would’ve been one of our greatest leading men. Would’ve been a multiple academy award winner and the music would’ve been secondary. I’m sure he would have continued doing music, but he would’ve been huge in the film world,” said Allen Hughes.
Indeed that was Tupac’s plan. In a rare interview recently released by ET, Tupac spoke about focusing more on an acting career, while slowing down on recording music.
“I just want to push the envelope. I just want to work work work. I wanna move further away from the music and start going into the acting more,” he said on set of his last film Gridlock’d.
Dear Mama concludes this Friday, May 12th, two days before Mother’s Day. FX’s 5-part docuseries directed by Allen Hughes and approved by the Tupac Estate, has been well received. In pure Tupac fashion, the series has broken a record. The docuseries which premiered on April 21st with two episodes has become as FX’s most watched unscripted debut in cross-platform viewers. Episode 1 debuted with 196,000 views and episode 2, Changes, with a little under 196K. The totals do not include views from streaming platforms and delayed viewing.
Dear Mama: The Saga of Afeni and Tupac Shakur has also received a perfect score by Rotten Tomatoes and a 97% audience score.