Watch Pop Smoke In Trailer For Eddie Huang-Directed "Boogie"
Pop Smoke's legacy will live on. Not just through the music, but — before his untimely death in February of 2020 — he was also getting his feet wet in acting. Now, we have the trailer for the first movie featuring Bashar Jackson: Eddie Huang's "Boogie."
The nearly three-minute clip shows main character Alfred Chin, who goes by his "stripper name" Boogie, on his journey honoring his Chinese heritage while navigating high school in Queens, New York and chasing his basketball dream. On the court is where Boogie, played by Taylor Takahashi, becomes rivals with Pop Smoke's character, Monk.
Pop Smoke's "Got it on Me," from his posthumous album, "Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon," serves as the soundtrack for the trailer. The clip also promises that the Focus Features film delivers new music from the Brooklyn king.
Huang is making his directorial debut with "Boogie" after establishing himself as a celebrity chef and sharing his autobiographical series "Fresh off the Boat." He spoke to the New York Times about how instantly he wanted Pop Smoke to be a part of the film.
"Pop shows up to the audition — Palm Angels head to toe — and he’s just a kid, but he has the voice of 50 Cent and Paul Mooney," he said. "You can tell he’s weathered, he’s an old soul. Within two takes, you could see the swag just come out of nowhere. He explodes on camera. I stopped the audition right there. He can turn emotions on a dime. He could be funny. He can be mean. A lot of actors just don’t have the depth of emotion and experiences, but because of what Pop’s gone through, he has a tremendous well to draw from."
As production started, Huang was also impressed by Pop Smoke's work ethic and saw how his influence was already strong on the city.
"He gave me a thousand percent," he said. "They were tough 16-hour days, overnights, and he shot five overnights in a row. Kids were coming on the bridge to watch us shoot the scenes. We would play Pop’s record. All our actors, the extras, the kids on the bridge watching us shoot scenes, everyone was doing the Woo dance. It was pretty special."
Pop Smoke could have followed in the footsteps of Tupac Shakur in how he portrayed his thug image through his music and also on screen. Tupac, of course, became iconic for his ruthless characters like Birdie in "Above the Rim" or Bishop in "Juice." The New York star was just getting international acclaim for his infectious fusion of drill with his menacing growl. And from the "Boogie" trailer, it appears this persona had to potential to translate on camera for a long time.
"Boogie" is due out March 5.