The role of Kid Culprit in the upcoming film "Beyond The Lights" was originally supposed to go to a black actor. Culprit, a braggadocious rapper, plays the villain role to protagonist Noni, portrayed by Gugu Mbatha-Raw.
After five callbacks, however, the role went to white rapper and Cleveland native Machine Gun Kelly (real name Colson Baker). Baker joined HuffPost Live on Friday to talk about his acting debut.
"I had been auditioning prior, for about two or three years in general and I ran across this script," Baker told host Ricky Camilleri. "I saw that it was a counter-culture script in that, in a day and age where being kind of slutty is very highly touted, this was going against the grain and saying 'Hey, being in love and finding yourself and and being with someone that makes you a better person is OK.'"
The movie, which hits theaters today, has opened to positive reviews, taking home an 87 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and a 73 on Metacritic. It's especially sweet for Baker, as he had to juggle a tour schedule with his five auditions.
"I did the audition, got a callback. I was on tour, though, and so I had the decision whether pursue it or stay on tour and focus on that. I found a way to balance it by just flying, doing the audition, and flying back and making the show," he said. "That happened about five times. Five times later, man. It was a pretty relentless campaign trying to get that role."
Baker said that after he was offered the role, there wasn't much talk about it being intended for a black actor, but it was "known."
"I was really hoping my flavor I could bring would suffice, and it did," he added.
Watch the rest of the clip above, and catch the full HuffPost Live conversation here.
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