Exclusive: Brandon T. Jackson Talks 'Tropic Thunder'; "I Auditioned Like 15 Times"

Wednesday, Aug 13, 2008 12:30PM

Published by SOHH.com

Written By Danica Dow


Tropic Thunder opens in theaters across the nation today. In this SOHH exclusive we talk to one of the films stars, Brandon T. Jackson about his role as the "rapper turned actor" in the movie and working with a star-studded cast.

Tropic Thunder is an action comedy about a group of self-absorbed actors who set out to make the biggest war film ever. It stars and was directed by Ben Stiller.

Brandon T. Jackson, who is best known for his role in Roll Bounce and his appearances on MTV's "Wild N' Out" says the Tropic Thunder gig didn't come easy to him.

"I auditioned like 15 times for Ben Stiller and I didn't get the part," said Jackson. "He called me back like a month later and said, 'Do you want to come and do the movie?' It just happened out of nowhere, miraculously and I become 'Alpa Chino.'"

Brandon's character, Alpa Chino, is a platinum selling rap star making his big screen debut.

"I play a rapper that's a hip-hop mogul like Diddy or Lil' Wayne," Jackson explains. "I got my own energy drinks. It's called Booty Sweat, which is hilarious. It's a social commentary because rappers are going overboard."

In the film, Chino resents the fact that the role of an African-American sergeant, went to a white actor, played by Robert Downey, Jr. In reality, Jackson was happy with Downey Jr.'s portrayal of a black man.

"He became a black dude," said Jackson. "It's not bad but if he did it derogatory like Thomas Howell in Soul Man we would've all went to hell but he did a really, really good job. Trust me, I was watching him and I had nothing to say because I was like, 'This dude is black.'"

Downey Jr. isn't the only major talent in Tropic Thunder; Jack Black, Nick Nolte, Matthew McConaughey and Tom Cruise round out the star-studded cast.

"At first I didn't know how good these guys were," he said. "To work with them was a breathtaking experience just to see the greats in their work."

"Honestly I've never seen a movie like this," he continues. "It's so clever. There's so many layers, such a good movie, there's nothing else like it!"

Tropic Thunder is in theatres now.

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