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It can’t be easy to step into the shoes of Tupac Shakur and Christopher Wallace, a.k.a. Biggie Smalls. However, the cast of Unsolved: The Murders of Tupac and The Notorious B.I.G. did it seamlessly, although the pressure was definitely on
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“He was an icon, it’s not like he’s this character that’s in a movie or in a show, he’s like Tupac and Biggie, so it was bigger than just, ‘Oh, let me get in the role, let me create a character,’” Wavyy Jonez, who portrays Biggie in the show, told Us Weekly exclusively. “These characters weren’t characters — they were human and they were here. I often say that greatness can often be imitated but never duplicated, so we just went into it. We researched a lot!”
Marcc Rose as Tupac Shakur and Wavyy Jonez as Christopher “Biggie” Wallace ichie Knapp/USA Network
While both murders remain mysteries, both Jonez and Marcc Rose, who plays Tupac in the limited series, did know a lot about the legends and the cases before taking on the roles.
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“I heard so many different things. I’m not going to say I had a theory, but I heard so many different things that I really didn’t know what to believe,” Rose told Us. “You just don’t know what to believe and you want to put your best judgment forward, but you want to also dig deep into the facts, and I think with Unsolved, that’s what we was able to do. Just reading through the script, I was able to put so many of the theories that I heard — or a lot of the ‘he said, she said’ and naysayers, to bed.”
The stars admitted that they are excited to show audiences a different side of the rappers. Everyone knows them as musicians, but the show will also take a deep dive into their personal lives.
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“I loved his relationship with his mother … to see how they were so connected and him coming from a single family home, just him and his mom,” Jonez said about Biggie. Rose added that he was extremely interested in learning about both Tupac and B.I.G.’s reasonings behind their music.
Marcc Rose and Wavyy Jonez arrive at the premiere of USA Network’s “Unsolved: The Murders of Tupac and The Notorious B.I.G.” at Avalon on February 22, 2018 in Hollywood, California. Amanda Edwards/WireImage
“We got a chance to find what fueled them. I didn’t know. I never knew, and I always wanted to know what fueled them — why did he speak the way he spoke or why was he laughing in this moment? How was that thought process? So as I dug in and did the research, I was able to see all those elements,” Rose explained. “We thought we were fans before but through the research we became super-fans!”
Unsolved: The Murders of Tupac and The Notorious B.I.G. airs on USA Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET.
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