Why Tupac Was Played By Two Actors In Straight Outta Compton

Looks can get you nearly anywhere in Hollywood - especially if you look like somebody that Hollywood is making a movie about. Marcc Rose looks remarkably like Tupac Shakur which was perfect for his role in Straight Outta Compton. But while his appearance is startlingly similar to that of the California rapper, there was one thing he couldn’t do, and it required the production to bring in a second actor for the role: he couldn’t rap like Tupac.

According to a story in USA Today (opens in new tab), actor Marcc Rose was nearly perfect for the role of Tupac, because he looked so much like the famous rapper. It seems, however, that Rose didn’t sound enough like the man, so when the Tupac of the film is in the recording booth and listening to the beat of "California Love" with Dr. Dre, audiences are seeing Rose, but actually hearing Darris Love.

Marcc Rose looks so much like Tupac Shakur that he’s used to being stopped on the street (The USA Today story doesn’t say whether or not the people who stop him act like they’ve seen a ghost, as Shakur died in 1996 from gunshot wounds sustained during a drive-by shooting). Rose realized how much his resemblance was an asset, and actually moved to Los Angeles from Brooklyn, New York, specifically to try and be cast in Straight Outta Compton. It’s a very specific dream with some fairly long odds, but it worked out for Rose.

For his part, Darris Love also has a strong connection to Tupac. According to the newspaper, he’s been practicing his rapping voice for years to attempt to perfect Tupac’s sound, as he will be playing the rapper in the upcoming biopic Truth About Tupac.

Voice dubbing is a far from an uncommon practice. It’s been going on since the golden age of Hollywood musicals, and still happens today when music is vital. While most of the time movies want their performers to sing, lots of great actors can’t sing very well (they can’t be great at everything). Many can improve with practice and a vocal coach, but sometimes schedules don’t give the actors enough time. While it isn’t clear whether Marcc Rose doesn’t sound good or simply doesn’t sound like Tupac, when you have access to somebody like Darris Love who has been working specifically to sound like the late rapper, there’s really no reason not to use him.

Together, Rose and Love (who should go on tour together with names like that) put together an absolutely uncanny performance to bring the late Tupac Shakur back to life for Straight Outta Compton. They’re just a couple of the reasons the movie has been such a big hit.

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.