Over the course of his acting career, Nick Cannon has starred in his fair share of “blassics” — classic Black films — from “Drumline” and “Love Don’t Cost a Thing” to “Roll Bounce.” However, for the latter role, the entertainer has shared that he turned down another popular movie to make it happen.
During an interview with HipHopDX, Cannon revealed that he was meant to star in 2006’s “ATL,” in T.I.’s role as Rashad. He was presented the scripts for both “Drumline” and “ATL” — originally titled “Jelly Beans” — by Dallas Austin.
Both of the films are based on the life of Austin, a songwriter and producer, who is known for working with TLC, Boyz II Men, Monica, and more.
“The ‘Drumline’ story is about him being a drummer and not knowing how to read music and being in a band, and ‘ATL’ was this story about him going to a roller skating rink called ‘Jelly Beans,’” he said, according to HipHopDX.
He added, “I remember [Dallas Austin] had both of the scripts for ‘Drumline’ and at the time ‘ATL’ was called ‘Jelly Beans.’ And he was like, ‘Yo, we gonna do both of these. We’re gonna do ‘Drumline’ first and then we’re gonna do ‘Jelly Beans.'”
Cannon was initially supposed to star in both of the films, one after the other, but he went on to act in “Roll Bounce” as Bernard instead, since it paid more than “ATL.”
“It got brought to me after ‘Drumline’ that they were gonna go with it, but I got presented two rollerskating movies: it was ‘Jellybean’ and ‘Roll Bounce,’” Cannon told the outlet. “And the bag was a little bigger over at ‘Roll Bounce’ with less days work; so I chose that one.”
He added, “‘Cause I was doing another movie, I was like, ‘I could do this one and still complete the other project or I could go back down to Atlanta for a few months and not get paid as much.’ I did it for the bag.”
While Cannon didn’t share the exact numbers for the gigs, T.I. previously shared his earnings from “ATL” in an interview on Jemele Hill’s podcast in 2019.
“I almost got fired three times…quit two times, I was having the time of my life and getting money hand over fist,” T.I. shared with Hill, per Showbiz Cheat Sheet. “They paid me $85,000 to do ATL, and not just the filming part. There was weeks, if not months of consistent skate training.”
What’s more, the box office numbers for both movies are public knowledge.
According to IMDb, “Roll Bounce” made $7,570,366 during its opening weekend in the U.S. and Canada and grossed $17,521,290 worldwide. The platform disclosed that “ATL” raked in $11,554,404 for its opening weekend and $21,170,563 worldwide.