Andre 3000 Once Turned Down a Role in ‘Dreamgirls’ Because He Didn’t Want to Be Typecast

Rapper and actor Andre 3000 had the opportunity to star in the hit film Dreamgirls. But he turned down the chance to join the acclaimed feature to avoid being typecast.

Why Andre 3000 decided to pursue acting

Andre 3000 posing while wearing a black sweater.
Andre 3000 | Paras Griffin/Getty Images

As most know, artist Andre 3000 carved out a career for himself starring in the hip-hop group OutKast. But while experiencing massive success in the rap group, which included Grammy wins and multi-platinum records, Andre would later try his hand at acting. One of the reasons Andre decided to act was because of the challenge.

“The challenge to play a normal human being, being that I’m an entertainer. People put you on this star type of pedestal and you need to actually break yourself down. To be a normal human being is kind of therapy. I dig it,” he once said in an interview with IGN.

Andre would go on to build a noticeable film career for himself as well. He starred in films like Be Cool, Four Brothers, and Charlotte’s Web.

Andre 3000 once turned down a role in ‘Dreamgirls’

Dreamgirls was the 2006 critically acclaimed musical drama starring an ensemble cast of singers and actors. To round out the movie’s roster, stars like Jamie Foxx, Eddie Murphy, Beyoncé and Jennifer Hudson were recruited for the feature. Directed by Bill Condon, the movie would also end up giving Hudson her first Oscar win.

Andre 3000 would also have the opportunity to star in the acclaimed film. But before he was offered Dreamgirls, he was the main lead in a very similar project. Idlewild followed a gifted musician played by Andre struggling to make it in the record business. Directed by Barry Barber, the movie also featured a noticeable cast. Terrence Howard, Paula Patton, and his own OutKast partner Big Boi would all feature in the project.

Although Andre was initially interested in being a part of Dreamgirls, he found the movie too similar to Idlewood for his tastes.

“Someone just sent me the script for Dreamgirls, with Beyoncé, but I can’t do it,” he once said according to Contact Music. “The director wanted to meet, and I’d really love to work with this director, but I just finished a musical, and it was a period piece. I don’t want to get typecast.”

Why Andre 3000 stopped focusing on music

Andre 3000 stopped putting emphasis on his music career in his older years. This was by design, as the Elsewhere actor was missing the creative inspiration to return to the art form.

“I haven’t been making much music, man,” he once said on Rick Rubin’s Broken Record podcast(via Complex). “My focus is not there. My confidence is not there. I tinker a lot. I’ll just go to a piano and I’ll set my iPhone down and just record what I’m doing, moving my fingers and whatever happens, but I haven’t been motivated to do a serious project.”

Andre also wanted to figure out certain things about himself before he devoted any serious time to his art.

“In my own self, I’m trying to figure out where do I sit,” he continued. “I don’t even know what I am and maybe I’m nothing. Maybe I’m not supposed to be anything. Maybe my history is kinda handicapping, in a way, so I’m just trying to find out what makes me feel the best right now. And what makes me feel the best is when I just do these random instrumental things. They make me feel the most rebellious . . . I don’t like to go with the flow, really. I don’t know why but I just feel best when I don’t, so I have to honor that.”

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