Ice Cube Reveals He Nearly Missed Out On ‘Boyz n the Hood’ Film After Not Taking John Singleton Seriously
Ice Cube recalled John Singleton approaching him for the 1991 film Boyz n the Hood, but he didn’t take the filmmaker seriously for years.
He said on the Million Dollaz Worth of Game podcast recently that he first met John Singleton in the 80s while on The Arsenio Hall Show.
“Dude walk up to me, he’s an intern, he’s like ‘Yo man you in N.W.A. huh?’ I’m like ‘Yeah’ …this is before we were famous like household names, and so I’m like ‘Yeah, yeah.’ He’s like ‘Man, I got the perfect movie for you dude.’”
Ice Cube said he wasn’t necessarily attracted to the idea of entering the film world. He continued,
“I’m like ‘What? You got the perfect movie for me?’ I’m like for one I’m not an actor so I’m looking at him like he crazy because it was just unusual for someone to walk up to a rapper talking about ‘I want you to act’ back then, so I was like ‘whatever man.’ So he was just telling me about the movie, he actually wanted all of us in the movie — he wanted Eazy in the movie, Dre and them — and I guess he said he ran into them but they didn’t take him serious. At that time I didn’t take him serious, I was like ‘all right man; that’s cool.’”
Ice Cube ran into John Singleton again months later, and he was still determined as ever to get Ice Cube to star in his film.
“He walked up to me saying the same stuff you know, ‘You perfect man. I’m a junior at USC man [University of Southern California] but dude when I graduate I’m gonna put you in this movie.”
While nothing came of that encounter, John Singleton wasn’t going to give up after seeing Ice Cube a year later. Ice Cube continued,
“He’s like, ‘Remember me?’ I’m like, ‘Dude I’m seeing you like every six months, every year-and-a-half; yeah I remember you.’ He’s like, ‘Yeah, I’m a senior now at USC, man you’re perfect for this movie. Can I tell you about it?’”
Ice Cube said he allowed Singleton to tell him about the film, but only halfway listened before things turned awkward when Singleton asked for a ride home.
“So I’m like *sigh* tell me about it.’ So he tells me about the movie. I’m halfway paying attention and I look around and everybody leaves, the place is empty, the parking lot empty, it’s just me and him in there. He asked for a ride to his dorm, I’m like, ‘D***, d*** n***a I just met you and you want a ride!’ I end up dropping him off and I’m like man if I don’t see that dude again, man you know he keeps telling me the same story.”
Another year passed and while Singleton was a college graduate at this point, Ice Cube still wasn’t moved enough to sign on to the film. Things shifted after Ice Cube’s agent gave him a script, which Ice Cube didn’t know was the same one Singleton had been telling him about.
“I threw that script in my backseat, put the paper in my pocket, just went on to the house. So on Thursday I show up, I pull the thing out my pocket, I read the little lines, I go in there and I think I’ma see these white people in here to make this movie that they want me in. I don’t even know what it’s about. I walk in it’s John there.”
He was sitting there saying, ‘Remember me?’ and I said, ‘D*** you!’ He said, ‘I told you I’ma put you in a movie. I’m gettin’ my movie made, I want you to be in it. You ready to audition?’ I’m like, ‘Yeah.’ So I go audition and I’m terrible. I mean I suck. I’m reading it. I can’t get the flow and he just look at me like man.”
He added that Singleton was willing to give him one more chance.
“He said, ‘Everybody leave.’ He put everybody out. He says, ‘Cube, man, that was terrible. Did you read my script?’ I said, ‘Nah, I ain’t read it man. I didn’t even know it was you. I thought it was some white people gon’ be in here.’ He said, ‘Man go home, read my script and come back. I’m gonna give you one shot at this, man. I’m gonna give you one more shot. I hope you better than you was today after you read this.’”
“I just miss him. That dude became my mentor in the game, helped me actually become a screenwriter. He helped me direct, he helped me produce. Every time I needed some advice, I would call him because he went to school and went through all this. I didn’t go to none of that stuff so I would lean on him, and he was always gracious, and I miss that dude.”