Allen Hughes On TIFF Premiere Of Tupac Shakur Docuseries ‘Dear Mama’; How Filmmaker Confronts Own Beat Down At Hands Of Tupac & Entourage Onscreen
EXCLUSIVE: This morning in Toronto, writer-director Allen Hughes and FX unveil the first of a five-part docuseries Dear Mama. This is an epic exploration of the life of hip-hop icon Tupac Shakur and his late mom, Afeni Shakur, the former Black Panthers member. It is Hughes’ first trip back to TIFF since he and brother Albert came to unveil their Johnny Depp pic From Hell, only to see that title become all too apt when, on their media day 21 years ago, everything got canceled when two hijacked planes crashed into and took down the Twin Towers. At the behest of the estate of the Shakur family, Hughes, who aside from films like The Book of Eli directed the acclaimed docuseries The Defiant Ones on Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine, spent years diving deep into the mythology of Tupac to answer why his art endures so long after he was shot dead at age 25. Much as he would have preferred to avoid it, Hughes had to confront his own provocative history with Tupac. After the Hughes Brothers hired Tupac for a supporting role in Menace II Society, they fired Shakur over disagreements about the part he wanted to play. Later, the hip-hop artist and his pals crossed paths with Hughes and his co-director Albert, and beat them badly enough that it led to a criminal conviction on Shakur for assault and battery., Here, Hughes discusses all, including the spiritual connection between Tupac and Marvin Gaye, whose life Allen Hughes takes on next in a narrative film for Warner Bros and Motown Records.