Omar Epps’s trip down memory lane about the making of the film Juice shed light on a bit of information fans likely never knew: The bulk of the movie’s dialogue was crafted on the spot.
This revelation was introduced to the public when Epps appeared on “The Crew Has It” podcast on Tuesday (Oct. 4). The 1992 project marked his and Tupac Shakur’s debut as leading actors in a film. It was also director Earnest Dickerson’s first full-length film.
The flick’s plot follows a group of Harlem teens, which includes Epps’ character Q and Tupac’s character Bishop, as they go from being thick as thieves while committing petty crimes to foes. Since its theatrical debut, Juice has been considered a cult classic in Black cinema. Surprisingly, though, the Love & Basketball star said the script was written 10 years prior to the project being made.
“All the verbiage and slang in there was from dudes from like the 80s, 70s. ‘Hey sucka!’ And we was like, ‘Nah,’” recalled Epps during the latest episode of the podcast hosted by actors Michael Rainey Jr. and Gianni Paolo.
Epps added Dickerson gave him and Tupac the creative freedom to transform the script, and so they did. “He was just like, ‘You know what needs to be said, just say it the way you would say it.’ So basically me and Pac we freestyled the whole movie, know what I mean?”
The Higher Learning star said some of the film’s most iconic scenes consisted of dialogue that he and the “California Love” rapper came up with as cameras were rolling. “All of these great moments…Even with Pac, the great locker moment and all that, this is off the top…And that was great because it helped me improve my process in terms of being in the moment,” said Epps.
To hear more about Epps’ experience filming Juice, check out his episode of “The Crew Has It” below.