Notorious B.I.G. Biopic-Makers Searching For Un-Notorious Star

August 10, 2007 10:13 AM ET

The story of "heart throb never, black and ugly as ever" rapper the Notorious B.I.G. will finally grace the silver screen. Notorious will focus on the private life of the Brooklyn icon, but Fox Searchlight Pictures is still scrambling to fill the part of the lyrical legend. So producers of the biopic, which has been in development for seven years, have decided to seek out an unknown actor to portray Biggie Smalls on the big screen. "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," said Big's former manager Wayne Barrow.

Producers briefly considered Oscar-winner Forest Whitaker for the role, but the actor is twice as old as Biggie was at his career's height. And unlike Todd Haynes' unconventional take on the life of Bob Dylan (where Cate Blanchett takes a turn portraying the singer-songwriter), Notorious filmmakers don't seem interested in any creative casting (sorry, Mo'Nique).

Actors can submit audition tapes to beginning Sunday. And here's a bit of advice from Big's mom, Voletta Wallace: "I don't want you to just imitate him. I want to see his swagger, his style, his energy and smile come through."

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Love Is the Answer”

Utopia | 1977

The message of the Beatles' "All You Need Is Love" proved to be a universal and long-lasting one, which Utopia revisited 10 years later on this ballad. "From a lyrical standpoint, it's part of a whole class of songs that I write, which are about filial love," Todd Rundgren explained. "I'm not a Christian, but it's called Christian love, the love that people are supposed to naturally feel because we are all of the same species. That may be mythical, but it's still a subject." Though "Love Is the Answer" wasn't a hit, a cover version two years later by England Dan & John Ford Coley peaked at Number Ten on the Billboard singles chart.

More Song Stories entries »