In an interview on The Rich Eisen Show, Hughes gave a hypothetical breakdown of where the late rapper’s acting career would’ve taken him if he were still alive.
“If he had been here, I think Denzel would have some stiff competition,” Hughes said. “He was that talented. Denzel and 2Pac share one thing in common, and I’ve seen them all. I’ve been with world-class pimps, charismatics all over the world, storytellers. The ‘it’ thing — you know, in streets or in the movie business — Denzel and 2Pac possessed.
“When they walk in a room, the emotional intelligence was off the charts, the social intelligence was off the charts. Genius level of social intelligence.”
He continued: “The difference is, Denzel is very wise and can control his emotions and 2Pac [couldn’t]. But 2Pac would’ve been one our greatest leading men, would’ve been a multiple Academy Award winner. And the music would’ve been secondary. I’m sure he would’ve still continued doing music, but he would be huge in the film world.”
Allen Hughes is the director of the new FX docuseries Dear Mama: The Saga of Afeni & Tupac Shakur. The series explores the dynamic mother-son relationship between Afeni Shakur, who was a revolutionary and a member of the Black Panther Party, and 2Pac, arguably one of the greatest rappers of all time.
2Pac was fatally shot on September 7, 1996 in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada. He was only 25 years old. Prior to his death, ‘Pac was in an assortment of classic movies, including 1992’s Juice, 1993’s Poetic Justice and 1994’s Above The Rim.
Recently, a rare 2Pac interview from 1996 was unearthed, which found the late rap legend detailing his career plans and ambitions — including wanting to “move away from music.”
Entertainment Tonight shared the interview clip in April 2023 which shows 2Pac chatting with the outlet prior to the release of his final movie Gridlock’d. 2Pac spoke about wanting to put music on the back burner and focus on his acting career, partly in an attempt to rehabilitate his image.
“To have change in my image, really, number one,” he said when asked what attracted him to Gridlock’d. “This movie is really about friendship and what unconditional friendship means. I did it basically because it was funny and I’ve never really got to be funny.”
Looking to further make his mark in Hollywood, the “California Love” hitmaker also hinted at starring in a rom-com and expressed his excitement at launching his own movie production company.
“We got a lot of good things happening,” he said. “If I say it right now, the way my luck has been going, it’ll all fall through … Just give me a month so I can lock it down before I tell everybody.
“I just want to push the envelope and work, work, work. I want to move further away from the music and start wading myself into the acting more.”