Appearing on the Fat Joe Show via Instagram Live, actor and singer Tyrese explained how the character Jody in the movie Baby Boy was originally written for 2Pac.
Directed by the late John Singleton, Baby Boy released in 2001 also featured Snoop Dogg, Omar Gooding and David Arnold. But, it is Tyrese’s character of Jody that is forever iconic. The film follows bicycle mechanic Jody as he lives and learns in his everyday life in the hood of L.A.
Fat Joe would go on to ask Tyrese about his character in the classic movie. “This Jody is iconic, did he [Singleton] write that for you?”
“Jody was originally written for 2Pac,” Tyrese tells a surprised Fat Joe. “He said to me, true story. When Pac was in L.A. shooting the video To Live & Die in L.A. they shot it off Crenshaw. Singleton’s office was in Crenshaw. He walked up to Pac in the middle of the video shoot and said, ‘I wrote a movie for you’. Pac was raised by his mom. Rest in peace Mrs. Afeni Shakur. He said, ‘I got the perfect movie for you to tell your story’. He wrote the movie for 2Pac.”
“John was so traumatized and devastated about losing Pac, he put the whole movie Baby Boy on the shelf. Then he ran into me and he said, ‘You remind me of Pac,” Tyrese explained. “He was specially comparing me to Pac, ‘He just said you a real ni–a from the west and you go this energy about you’.”
Tyrese and his three other siblings were raised by his single mother in Watts. Being the younger of the four, Tyrese was literally the “Baby Boy” of the family.
Focusing on his music career which began with RCA Records in 1998, Tyrese was not interested in John Singleton’s offer. “John kept calling. Kept hitting me. Ran into me. BET Awards, NAACP Awards, wherever I was out on my goofy sh-t chasing my music career, he kept saying Baby Boy is your movie.”
Still declining the offer, Singleton would head over to Tyrese’s home and read the script to him. “He said, ‘Man f–k this. You read the script’. I looked at him. I was like, ‘Aight’. So, he sat there with his thick glasses on, looking down at his Skyway two-way and he made me read the script cover to cover at my dinner table.”
After reading the script, Tyrese instantly related to the Jody character. Four months a call from the cast director and Tyrese was given the part for Jody, but still he did not accept. It was not until he witnessed Denzel Washington performance in the 1999 film The Hurricane, that he immediately turned his ambition to an acting career.
In 2002 Tyrese would ironically once again utilize his vocals on the hook for 2Pac’s posthumous release ‘Better Dayz’. Tyrese would appear on the song titled ‘Never Call U B—- Again’.