Now Reading: The Fast & Furious Casting Saga Involving Andre 3000, Ludacris, and Ja Rule


The Fast & Furious Casting Saga Involving Andre 3000, Ludacris, and Ja Rule

Renowned as both a musician and actor, André Benjamin aka Andre 3000 boasts an impressive filmography, portraying iconic figures such as Jimi Hendrix in All By My Side, and appearing in notable productions like Four Brothers and Be Cool. Surprisingly, the multi-faceted artist from Atlanta came close to joining the cast of the Fast & Furious franchise.


In a recent interview on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Dre spoke about the time he auditioned for the film.


“I tried out… I wasn’t ready. I remember that audition. I was so nervous. I wouldn’t have hired me,” he explained.


Unfortunately, his nerves got the best of him, and the role ended up going to Ludacris who is known for his recurring role as Tej Parker throughout the film series.


It’s worth noting the aforementioned Ludacris role was also originally meant for former Murder Inc. rapper Ja Rule.


Ja initially had a small part as Edwin in the first Fast & the Furious movie, but he passed on a lead role in the sequel. 


“I just felt it wasn’t the best move for me as far as what I want to do in Hollywood right now. I’m really trying to do this acting thing very seriously. And, you know, sometimes every move is not the right move,” he told MTV News in 2002. 


Ja had intentions of appearing in The Chronicles of Riddick alongside Vin Diesel, who also declined a role in 2 Fast 2 Furious. However, the rapper’s part never materialized.


When Ja turned down $500,000 to star in 2 Fast 2 Furious, late director John Singleton described the rapper as “too big for himself.”


He turned it down. He turned down a half a million dollars,” Singleton said. 


“He got 15 grand to be in the first movie. He was really big at that time. I guess Murder Inc. was throwing out hits and were making money hand over foot. He was acting like he was too big to be in the sequel. He wouldn’t return calls. I went to the studio to go see him — that’s just my mantra, I deal with a lot of music people. He was kinda playing me to the side, and I was like, ‘What? What is this shit?’” he expressed.


Singleton then reached out to Ludacris who auditioned while he was on tour with Eminem. 


“This was all initiated by me. I then made a call. I called Ludacris. I said, ‘Hey, Luda, I haven’t met you before, but I like what you’re doing right now.’ Luda was all humble, excited to meet me. I said, ‘I’m doing this movie, and I’m wondering if you want to be a part of it.’ He goes, ‘What? Yeah! Anything you do I want to be a part of.’ That’s how Ludacris got in 2 Fast 2 Furious, and the rest is history,” he concluded.


After landing the part, Edwin’s Ja Rule character evolved into Tej Parker played by Luda.


When Business Insider asked Ja Rule if he had regrets about not being in the $7 billion franchise, he replied, “I don’t at all.”


“Everybody has become the Monday morning quarterback: ‘He missed out on doing 10 Fast & Furious movies. ‘That’s okay. I’m fine with that,’” he added.


“I’m Ja Rule, the amazing artist that has had an amazing career, an amazing songwriter. That’s who I am. That’s who people see me as. That’s who I want to be revered as.


“I was probably the biggest artist in the rap game,” he declared.

“I’ll propose this to you: I’m John Singleton. I’m gonna offer you $500,000 to shoot a movie for three months. Or I’m going on a tour and I’m gonna make close to $15 million in the span of less than two months. Well, what you doing?


“Who knew that there was going to be 10 of them? But even still, I would’ve had to do 10 movies to make that kind of money, or at least eight.”

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