The late Pop Smoke embodies a prominent role in cultural tastemaker Eddie Huang's first movie titled 'Boogie,' a coming-of-age story about a Chinese high school basketball player trying to prove his talents both to his parents and to his peers.
Pop plays Monk, the main antagonist opposite Alfred "Boogie" Chin (Taylor Takahashi). Around the time of Pop Smoke's death 11 months ago, Huang posted several clips from when he was introduced to the Brooklyn artist during an audition for the flick.
"He was a little stiff the first take but in three takes, he got it," Huang, 38, recalled. "You can even hear my excitement and the Producer’s as he finished his audition. We knew right there it was Pop. He is honestly the most talented person I ever met in my life bar none. He knew he was ill but always spoke about doing it for his family, his friends, other kids like him. I think that's why it was effortless for him. This one really f**king hurts."
Huang also praised Pop's ability to tap into past experiences while speaking with The New York Times. "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," he said.
"He gave me a thousand percent. 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."
'Boogie' will also be soundtracked by "new music" from Pop Smoke, per the movie poster. It's set to release in theaters on March 5 via Focus Features.