Get to know the man/actor behind the role that had everyone talking in Hollywood! Adrian Author, played the role of the late rapper Tupac in Lifetime Channel Movie: Surviving Compton!
Porsche Bowie: I’ve seen your role history: a couple of comedic shorts, teenage horror and Lifetime’s Surviving Compton.
Adrien Arthur: I’m the type of person who moves on purpose. When I’m looking for a role or accept a role, I’m looking for something that will reach a certain demographic. Whether it’s children in the inner cities, or adults just graduating college and going through their goals. Love interests, athletes and stuff like that
PB: What is your favorite movie genre?
AA: My favorite movie genre would be more of a comedic drama. Where it’s real life. I’m not into superheroes, but something that’s real life drama or television.
PB: Any inspirational actors that made you say to yourself, “Man I have to get into acting”?
AA: The funny thing about it is, what got me started was I was looking at TV and when I saw Lance Gross on Tyler Perry’s House of Pain, when I saw him I looked him up on Wikipedia I saw he went attended Tasha Smith Acting studio. He looked like the guy who can take on any role. So I went there and ended up getting signed with her. So I give kudos to Lance Gross, me seeing him blossomed my acting career.
PB: Tell me a little about your experience with Surviving Compton and your roll
AA: It’s funny how I got the role. The journey actually started three years ago, because I met Lea Daniels when I auditioned for Fox’s Empire. Lea and I took a connection, but I wasn’t a seasoned actor yet. So she kept calling me to get my feet wet, but I always wondered why I wasn’t getting casted. And I now know that it was God’s way of telling me that I wasn’t ready yet. So a couple years later, I had just finished a personal training and she reached out to me and said that I remember you from your audition from Empire and other roles and I always thought you looked like Tupac. I need you to audition for this role for a movie that I am casting for. I put myself on tape and within a day she reached out and told me they liked me. And that’s all she wrote.
PB: Straight Out of Compton was a huge hit, and was told from the man’s perspective. With Surviving Compton, which is told from the woman’s perspective, what differences can viewers expect to see?
AA: With this role, I felt relieved that Tupac was shown in a positive light this time. Not how the media portrays him as angry, reactionary and out of control. Tupac was a visionary, he was a person that was for his people. When I was doing the scene with Suge Knight that got a lot of controversy, because everybody was saying that Pac wouldn’t have let Suge Knight disrespect him like that. And I felt like the way that he reacted showed a huge depiction of him. When Tupac reacted by just walking a way, I think he made a strategic move. When Suge called him a baby rapper, Tupac only had to walk away because he was already the biggest thing in rap.
PB You’re also a motivational speaker. What called you to that and what came first, acting or speaking?
AA: God used the acting to pursue my purpose. I moved to New York to act, but I needed work. So I started substitute teaching. I went to all the schools and would see this young black boys disrespecting teachers and just acting lost. At first I didn’t want to do anything, just do my job and leave, until I got fed up. I started talking to this one little boy and the entire class stopped and started listening. That’s when I realized people wanted to hear what I had to say. That’s when I knew I needed to go to all the schools and talk to these young people and change their lives because I could relate to them.
PB: What’s one thing that you want your listeners to get from your speeches?
AA: I want them to get that they’re enough. You are love, you have love. You can be great, it’s all inside of you. You can be great and do it with integrity.
PB: What can we expect from you moving forward?
AA: I signed with a new agent, APA, they have me doing a lot of life changing roles. So you’ll see me on the screen. But I’m also working on a play that will be showing in the DMV area in Maryland called Black Boy Blues. The show tales place around the time of Black Wall Street. During this time, Black people were separated in the attempt to keep them unsuccessful, but there were so many entrepreneurs and Black businesses that the opposite happened. Then the KKK came through and burned the city to the ground. So that story will be
PB: Thank you so much for your time, I feel so motivated. I feel like I got a free motivational speech from you.
AA: (Laughs) I appreciate you having me.