We’ve all been there – audition for a major Hollywood franchise at 9, appear on stage with Eminem at 9.15 – and this was the exact situation Ludacris found himself in when auditioning for the cast of 2 Fast 2 Furious in 2003.
Ludacris had only done one tiny cameo in a movie before becoming a stalwart of the Fast franchise, which has gone on to make billions. “I was on tour with Eminem and I got the call, because I believe Ja Rule was supposed to get this part and they couldn’t come to an agreement or something like that,” Ludacris told EW in 2021 when Fast 9 was coming out.
“At the last minute they had to hurry up and fill this role. I remember right before getting on stage, I was in my dressing room and someone told me, ‘You have to try out for this part. They only have one day so you’ve got to put it on tape now, and here’s the sides and you’ve got to do it.'”
Ludacris continued; “I’m like 15, 20 minutes from going on stage… It’s that crunch situation of, ‘Am I going to get this part? I don’t know. I don’t have too much time to even think about being nervous about reading these lines. I just got to do this shit.’ And I did it, and the rest is f–king history.”
Ludacris admitted to pretty much playing himself, at least at first; “The good thing, humbly speaking, is that it wasn’t too far of a stretch from my regular, everyday, ordinary personality. So I kind of was able to play Ludacris to a degree, because if it’s my first real movie role, I think that’s a great transition to not be able to go too far the first time. It’s kind of like you’re just learning the fundamentals of what’s going on. So I’m not saying I was playing Ludacris in 2 Fast, but it wasn’t too far of a f–king stretch from it.”
Ludacris concluded; “I’m the luckiest human being alive. The two top things that everyone in the world wants to do, be a movie star and a rockstar, and I’m actually living it out. It’s surreal for me to even say that.”
If you’re a lover of all things both fast and furious, check out our guide to the best Fast and Furious characters, ranked.