André 3000 Tells Stephen Colbert That He Lost Fast & Furious Role To Ludacris
There are so many what-ifs surrounding the role of Tej Parker in the Fast & Furious films. In 2003, John Singleton directed 2 Fast 2 Furious, and he could not lure Ja Rule back to play his part from the first Fast And The Furious movie. Ja wanted too much money, so the character was adapted into Tej, the Miami street-racing baron portrayed by Ludacris. More than two decades later, the Fast & Furious films are global blockbusters, and Ludacris is still playing Tej Parker. But that role could’ve gone so many ways.
Before taking the 2 Fast 2 Furious gig, Ludacris had only made a cameo appearance in The Wash, the 2001 Dr. Dre blaxploitation remake. Last month, comedian Katt Williams went nuclear on Shannon Sharpe’s Club Shay Shay podcast, claiming that he was one of the finalists for the 2 Fast 2 Furious role and that he didn’t get it because of “illuminati” demands about his haircut. This led to a brief mini-feud between Ludacris and Williams. And now, we’re finding out that André 3000 could’ve had that role, too. In some alternate reality, André and Tyrese were plastered all over movie screens, flying a jet-boosted Pontiac into orbit.
Last month, André 3000 appeared on Stephen Colbert’s Late Show to do an interview and to perform one of the long flute instrumentals from his New Blue Sun album. While he was there, André took the Colbert Questionert, and it aired last night. The 2 Fast 2 Furious thing came up in a roundabout way. André couldn’t name a favorite action movie, and Colbert said that he would’ve been good in one of the Fast & Furious movies. André admitted that it could’ve happened: “I would have, but I think Ludacris took the role! I actually tried out. I tried out for Fast & Furious, and Ludacris actually took the role.”
André says he’s not mad at losing out on that one because he “wasn’t ready… I was so nervous, man. I wouldn’t hire me.” He says he’d do it now, though. Watch the generally quite charming Colbert Questionert below.
In 2003, the year of both 2 Fast 2 Furious and Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, André 3000 actually got his first real screen credit — a small role in the mostly-forgotten Harrison Ford/Josh Hartnett action-comedy Hollywood Homicide. Three years after 2 Fast 2 Furious, the late director John Singleton cast André and one of the leads in Four Brothers. He’s really good in that movie, and he’s built up a nice filmography without ever appearing in a Fast & Furious installment.