Jamal Woolard Is Notorious BIG (Video & Photos)

January 9, 2009

Meet Jamal Woolard, the actor who is portraying the late Notorious BIG in the biopic film Notorious, which releases later this month. Read more and see photos and the trailer for the movie here.

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Jamal Woolard is taking on one big role in one of the most anticipated movies this year. Jamal, who has little acting experience will play Biggie Smalls in the movie Notorious.

The beginning of the film concentrates on Biggie’s adolescence, with the remaining two-thirds of the film takes place after he’s already famous. According to reports, one drawback to the film is the fact that it focuses more on his success than his ambition and talent, which takes away from the appreciation his legacy deserves.

Some biographical information on Jamal “Gravy� Woolard; he is not an actor, but is a rapper signed to Dirty Money Records/Warner Bros. Records. He raps under the name “Gravy.� Like Wallace, he is from Brooklyn, and according to rumors, he won the role of Biggie two years ago.

Jamal Woolard is probably best known thus far as the rapper who was shot in the butt before giving an interview at Hot 97 in 2006. Despite the gunshot wound, he went upstairs and gave the interview on the Funkmaster Flex show anyway. Even though he followed through with his commitment to the station, his music was later banned from being played, due to an ongoing policy that bans “music by any artist who is involved in an altercation at the station.”

With his role as Notorious BIG he is sure to gain some attention, and perhaps “Gravy” will become better known. At the very least, he landed the lead in one of the most anticipated films of the year. He is already hanging with big time celebrities, who also participated in the Notorious film, or who support the film. The New York premiere of the movie brought out stars such as Jay-Z, Diddy and Spike Lee. While cast members include; Angela Bassett as Voletta Wallace, Derek Luke as Sean Combs, Anwan Glover as Snoop Dogg, Antonique Smith as Faith Evans, Naturi Naughton formerly of 3LW as Lil’ Kim, Edwin Freeman as Mister Cee and Anthony Mackie as Tupac Shakur. Big Poppa’s protege, best friend and lover Lil’ Kim, surprisingly wanted nothing to do with the film, and Naturi Naughton, wasn’t even able to speak with her to research the role.

The setting for the movie after party held true to Biggie’s life; there was an ice block carved into the word “Notorious,” just like there was at one of Big’s album-release parties. Party goers rocked Coogi sweaters, and a few Versace shades were spotted in the crowd. Naturally, the scent of an illegal substance was also present.

“Y’all here to party for Biggie?” Big’s wife, Faith Evans, asked the crowd. I got this old, yellow sheet of paper,” she told MTV News. “Big wanted to remember something, and he asked me if he could borrow a piece of paper to write it down. He didn’t want to forget. So he wrote down, ‘Money, hoes, and clothes all a brother knows.’ ”

Former Vibe editor in chief Mimi Valdes, who wrote the mag’s first cover story on Biggie said, “It’s like 1995 all over again tonight.â€?

The after party was held at the Roseland Ballroom on Wednesday night where hundreds of people packed the venue and danced to the tunes that DJs Cassidy and D-Nice were spinning. The after-after party began at 3am, and was held at NYC hot spot Mr. West.

Check out more photos along with the trailers of “Notorious� below. The film hits theaters January 16, 2009.

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Photos: WENN.com

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