Kanye West Once Lost An Audition for ‘Semi-Pro’ to Andre 3000

By Marissa G. Muller

Kanye West is really, really good at being himself. Playing the roles of others? Not so much, apparently.

Before the rapper made his acting debut in a cameo role in Anchorman 2, the rapper tried out for a part in another Will Ferrell film, 2008’s Semi-Pro.

According to Gawker, West’s audition tape was very unlike the general quality of his music – which is to say, it was bad. Really bad. He mysteriously wore an afro wig in the audition tape and seemed uncomfortable in his own skin, which cost him the part to Andre Benjamin, aka OutKast‘s Andre 3000, who’s currently starring in the Jimi Hendrix biopic, Jimi: All Is By My Side.

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“This is for the role he lost to Andre Benjamin and it’s very obvious why — he’s a terrible actor,” an anonymous tipster told Gawker. “He’s wearing a ridiculous afro wig that he brought himself to the interview. He seems insecure and wooden through the whole tape, including some gems like: ‘I did it much better in my dining room’ and after the audition asking ‘It’s not great like I leave the office and not-so-great?’”

But not everyone had that perspective. According to Alison Jones, who served as the  Semi-Pro casting director, Kanye West wasn’t awful.

“He was pretty good, just green,” she writes in an email. “That I remember. Truly, he had good instincts. I don’t remember anyone saying anything negative at all, just that he was too green at that point. As I recall he is a huge comedy fan and very savvy about the comedy world.”

Here’s hoping the world gets to see Kanye’s lost tape – or, at least, another acting cameo soon.


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