Biggie Biopic ‘Notorious’ Aims to Ring True to Fans

By Jocelyn Vena

NEW YORK (RushPRnews)12/12/08-In order to re-create the madness that went down at a Biggie concert, the cast and crew of “Notorious” made sure they got every little detail right, including the clothes, the hair and, most importantly, the vibe. “I want to make it feel like a concert,” director George Tillman Jr. said during a visit to the set of the Notorious B.I.G. biopic, which hits theaters January 16. “Like you’re right there in the middle of a show. … On that day, it felt like I was performing with [Big], ’cause you go out backstage to shoot scenes, you see entourages, you see people with their own cliques hanging out. I felt like I was with a rap star.”

For the film’s performance footage, Tillman rounded up the usual suspects that one might have seen at a Biggie concert during the ’90s, including producers, DJs, managers and a cast of actors that looked uncannily like the people they are portraying.

“Performances, that’s what I do” said Jamal “Gravy” Woolard, who plays Biggie in the film. “I’m gonna make you feel like you see him up there. Like he’s not gone. That’s what I got to do.”

Naturi Naughton, who plays Lil’ Kim, was convinced by the vibe of the faux concert: “I feel like I’m at a real show.”

The whole scene was approved by Biggie’s real-life right-hand man, Diddy, who showed up to give the movie mob his stamp of approval. “All of these actors up here did a great job,” he said, surprising the crowd from the stage at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York.

“I felt like it was important to get it right, because a lot of people have not seen Big perform,” Tillman said. “Everyone came and brought it. Every moment was there on camera: the fun stuff, the great stuff.”

Check out everything we’ve got on “Notorious.”

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