Chris Robinson, the super music video director who gave us the unforgettable images for Amerie's "1 Thing", Snoop's "Beautiful", and Jay-Z's "Change Clothes" finally gets his chance to wow us on the big screen with ATL. And you thought T.I. was the only talented newcomer with something to prove.
SOHH sat down with Chris to talk shop about T.I. and how the movie was made. Peep...
Chris Robinson on working with T.I.:
â€œTip Harris! Thatâ€™s my boy. Heâ€™s really the truth. When I first made this movie I said no rappers to myself. I mean I had worked with rappers before but I wanted my feature film debut to be different. I looked at actors in LA, New York, Atlanta. I saw every black actor that youâ€™ve seen on every TV show and movie, but Tip came in and he killed it. He was always in the back of my mind because I did his video [Iâ€™m Serious] five years earlier.â€
â€œAnd you know Dallas Austin always mentioned Tip like â€œWhat do you think about T.I.?â€ He was a young man, already from Atlanta. He had an old soul, and when I met him at 18 he was grown then. And thatâ€™s what Rashadâ€™s character is. So T.I. brought his experiences to the room and if he hadnâ€™t experienced it he at least knew what I was trying to communicate. He brought so much authenticity to the role because if we were doing something that wasnâ€™t what happened in that neighborhood he would be like â€˜nah it wouldnâ€™t go down like thisâ€™. And heâ€™s the expert. Heâ€™s from Atlanta. He is ATL.
I think heâ€™s going to surprise people because he was brave enough not to be T.I., but to be Rashad. And we purposely didnâ€™t put his music in the movie until the end because of the detachment it makes, you start feeling like its T.I. but its Rashad. I think that youâ€™re going to see a lot more of that cat.â€