Who Played Ya? Continued: the Online Search for Biggie Smalls
As previously discussed in these digital pages, the quixotic search for the leading role in Notorious, the imminent Biggie Smalls biopic, continues apace—Fox Searchlight has announced an open-audition cattle call on the Internet. Budding thespians merely spirit themselves to biggiecasting.com, download a page of the script (somewhat problematic: As one commenter notes, Biggie would probably not say "Me and duke were cool," but the more informal "Me and duke was cool"—it's also entirely possible they meant dude), unleash a bit of freestyle rapping, and upload it to receive praise and/or constructive criticism and/or the part.
Fox Searchlight has kindly posted several of these videos, encouraging a sort of impromptu jury of one's peers, who provide instant, valuable feedback. ("That was ridiculous, go home!!! Booooooo!") In the interest of getting this show on the road, let us now pinpoint a few of the more remarkable entrants, and handicap their chances of starring in a movie even Netflix may one day be too embarrassed to carry.
Name: Thomas Lloyd
Location: Toms River, NJ
Production Values: Poor. Thomas is lit entirely by a tiny lamp he evidently borrowed from my grandmother, and some dude is clearly visible in the mirror.
Physical Resemblance: Could stand to gain 50-75 pounds
Script Read-Through: A bit rushed.
Freestyle Skills: Excellent. Robust shout-outs to Eddie Bauer, Rob Base, and the ignoble cancellation of Hangin' With Mr. Cooper.
Peanut Gallery: "Time to put the camera down, and both you and your friend need to step out yo mammas room.... tiffany lamp and roses, DAMN!!"
Prospects: As dim as the video itself
Name: Undadog Gardner
Location: Jamaica, NY
Production Values: Cameraman helpfully zooms in and out periodically, inducing mild vertigo
Vocal Resemblance: A wee bit high-pitched
Script Read-Through: Just because you're wearing sunglasses doesn't mean we can't tell you're reading it off the paper
Conflicting Agendas: Prefaces freestyle rap with "Freestyle for my ladies. All my sexy ladies." Espouses bumping, grinding.
Peanut Gallery: "SERIOUSLY...Are u high?"
Prospects: Not good, but sexy ladies make an excellent consolation prize.
Name: Orglister Robinson
Great Name: Seriously
Location: Memphis, TN
Production Values: "Let's do it in front of this metal bookshelf with the beat-up DVD player"
Physical Resemblance: Sullen, brooding expression suggests "Picked last for kickball" rather than "Just heard 'Hit 'Em Up" for the first time"
Script Read-Through: Attempts to break the land-speed record, and is way way way too smiley besides
Freestyle Skills: Suggests blowing up a Dunkin Donuts, which Biggie himself is unlikely to have desired
Peanut Gallery: "BROOKLYN IS NOT GOING TO BE HAPPY WITH THIS"
Prospects: Seriously, what do you have against those giant chocolate-chip cookies
Name: Erròn Jay
Location: Chicago, IL
Self-Promotion Skills: Has absolutely dominated discussion on biggiecasting.com's message boards from the onset, possibly by asking everyone he's ever met to post in his favor
Production Values: Mocked up to look like an actual trailer, complete with voice-over and mock crowd applause—is consequently twice as long as anyone else's video
Wardrobe: White suit is excellent; comfort level with a cigar leaves something to be desired
Script Read-Through: High on technique, low on menace
Freestyle Skills: Even lower on menace, and stop kissing up to Biggie's mom
Peanut Gallery: "I THINK THE SUIT AND HAT IS THE ONLY REASON HE LOOKS LIKE BIG. WHAT HAPPENS IF HE HAS TO DO A BED ROOM OR SHOWER PART .......YOUR SCREWED."
If There's Actually a Shower Scene in This Movie, Then We're All Screwed, Pal: Oy
Prospects: No worse than the actual movie's