Chemistry is such a beautiful thing. For months, Jason Mitchell, O’Shea Jackson, and Corey Hawkins morphed into the polarizing figures that forged the indomitable rap force N.W.A. for F. Gary Gray’s Straight Outta Compton. In the ’80s and ’90s, Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, and Ice Cube sculpted rap culture with sheer bravado and unforgivable candor. To some, they were America’s nightmare. To others, they were exemplary figures in the African American community. Together, they climbed the ladder of success and reached the apex of music because of their chemistry.

Jackson, Hawkins, and Mitchell come from different walks of life. While each actor possesses a tale of his own, they all had one goal in common for this film: chemistry. Prior to the film, O’Shea faced the daunting task of playing his father.  Hawkins―coming fresh out of Broadway― undermined his talent of playing Dre, and Mitchell was financially broke before shooting the movie. Despite their shortcomings, they all came together and shined radiantly to make this movie become a reality.

See how the cast landed their roles as they spoke about their audition process in our exclusive above.

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