Wow, who would have thought T.I. was that close to playing the lead role of Devon Miles in the classic film Drumline instead of Nick Cannon? After 21 years, it is probably tough to imagine anyone other than the media mogul to fulfill that role — but the “King of the South” once had the upper hand. Although he made his film debut in the 2006 film ATL, everything worked out the way it was supposed to. On Monday (Jan. 23), during a conversation on Shannon Sharpe’s “Club Shay Shay” podcast about his successful movie career which includes roles in American Gangster, the aforementioned ATL, Takers and more, Tip revealed that Drumline could have been in his filmography if he’d known how to play the drums.
— Club Shay Shay (@ClubShayShay) January 25, 2023
“Coming up amongst the ranks in Atlanta, it would bring me into the company of all of the legends in the city,” T.I. said. “And I could not meet all the legends without coming into contact with Dallas Austin. And Dallas Austin was a huge, huge, huge producer-songwriter. Just an incredible talent and an incredible mogul.
“And he was getting into films and he had this one film,” he continued. “I was working on my first album, he was telling me about his first film and you know, I was always like, ‘Yo bruh, put me in it.’ And he was like, ‘Aight, yeah man! Say less.’ And he sent me to go read and I read and they were like, ‘Man, you got to learn how to play the drums.’ And I was like, ‘I could play like I could play the drums.’ They were like, ‘Nah, you gotta learn how.’ I was like ‘Mannn, I don’t wanna do that.’
“I just didn’t want to commit myself to it at the time. It wasn’t there. But I read and I didn’t get it, and that movie went on to be Drumline. Yeah, I was reading for Nick Cannon’s part. But look, that opened the door for me to do ATL! After I didn’t get the role for Drumline, I went back to Dallas and said, ‘Man next time bruh, just give me the role. I ain’t going to read or nothing! Just give me the role.’ And he was like, ‘Cool,’ and he just gave the role for Rashad in ATL.”
Tip added that he and Nick often joke about the scenario, but that he’s ultimately happy with how everything panned out. How do you think T.I. would have performed if he ended up playing the role of Devon?
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