Playing a Playa: Casting the Part of Biggie Smalls

We asked some of the hopefuls at the New York City casting call to share their best Biggie impersonations. Click on the link above to hear the results. hide caption

Slideshow: Meet the Biggie Wannabes
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Hollywood is looking for an actor to fill some very large shoes: the role of Christopher Wallace, better known as rapper Biggie Smalls, The Notorious B.I.G.

Biggie was killed in a drive-by shooting 10 years ago. Producers have been trying to put his life story on screen ever since, but they've faced some setbacks —- among them, finding an actor who weighs more than 300 pounds and can rap.

So the film's producers headed to New York City this weekend for an open casting call.

Biggie remains a monumental figure in the hip-hop world. Part of his legend stems from his early death — at age 24, with only a couple of albums out. But the men who showed up at the New York City auditions say it's more than that.

Jermaine Hopkins, from Philadelphia, says Biggie opened up the game for men of his size.

"He was a real strong influence on hip-hop, especially for us big guys — big dark-skinned dudes. He made us like we the star!" Hopkins says.

While many of the aspiring actors looked the part, it remains to be seen who could wind up saying, in the late rapper's words, "I love it when you call me Big Poppa."

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