The Adam Sandler movie Uncut Gems was praised for being of of 2019’s finest, and it also earned notoriety for some of the casting choices. Specifically, some of the actors in the film come from different backgrounds than most thespians: Kevin Garnett is an NBA legend, and The Weeknd is a music superstar. It turns out, though, the The Weeknd wasn’t actually directors Josh And Benny Safdie’s first choice to be in the movie, as the part nearly went to ASAP Ferg.
Josh and Benny Safdie spoke with NME, and Josh said that talks with Ferg were so far along that he was brought in for a table read:
“Before we became friends with Weeknd, he saw a movie we made called Heaven Knows What, [and he] really responded to it. Then, we became friends after he saw Good Time, he really liked that film a lot, then we just became friends, which was awesome. Before we met him, I remember we did a table read where ASAP Ferg was there, and it was a character named Privilege. Before it was Ferg, it was going to be an unknown, like a local aspiring rapper — actually we were talking about Troy Ave for a little bit. When we ended up landing on the right time period because of Kevin Garnett, and it was with The Weeknd, we realized it was going to take place right around right when he was breaking through, around the Trilogy, and then we were able to use ‘The Morning,’ which is one of my favorite songs of his.”
Watch the interview here.