On Friday, August 14th, Universal Pictures will release its long anticipated Straight Outta Compton movie, which chronicles the rise and fall of the iconic Los Angeles gangsta rap group NWA through the late 80s and early 90s. The film is widely expected to be the top grossing film this weekend, and possibly the highest earning music biopic to ever open.
And there’s a Plainfield connection.
Plainfield’s own R. Marcos Taylor portrays once-frightening record producer and music mogul Marion “Suge” Knight. The actor and stuntman is the son of Third Ward Councilwoman Gloria Taylor, and of the late Richard Taylor, who served as Mayor of Plainfield from 1984 until 1989, around when this movie takes place.
Perhaps due to the current murder charge against the real-life Knight – a crime, oddly enough, alleged to have taken place on the set of this movie – Taylor’s character hasn’t received very much promotion. That hasn’t stopped critics from raving about Taylor’s portrayal, a role that required him to put on forty pounds, wear a fat suit, and learn how to smoke a cigar.
According to widely published film critic Roger Moore, “towering over the performances is R. Marcos Taylor’s hulking presence as Suge Knight, the bodyguard turned thug-manager, beating up talent, menacing stars and other managers alike. Taylor makes the Knight of scary legend come to life.” Other critics, from the Tampa Bay Times to RogerEbert.com have called Taylor’s performance “terrifying,” “scary,” and “maniacal” – clearly the intent of the depiction, if you know anything about Mr. Knight.
Perhaps the biggest endorsement came from the film’s producers and NWA co-founders Ice Cube and Dr. Dre, who said they were in awe of his performance, and felt like Suge was there.
Below is an interview with R. Marcos Taylor about portraying Suge Knight, followed by Taylor’s stuntman demo video, and the trailer for Straight Outta Compton which hits theaters on Friday, August 14.