B.I.G.'s Mom 'Shocked, Angry' About 'Notorious'

As B.I.G. biopic comes out, rapper's mother speaks out on son's dark past.

ByABC News
January 13, 2009, 4:39 PM

Jan. 16, 2009 — -- To call "Notorious" big is an understatement.

Pardon the pun, but the movie about the Notorious B.I.G., the self-proclaimed and industry- and audience-validated "greatest rapper of all time," goes above and beyond the bounds of the traditional bioflick.

The film took 11 years to make -- nearly the same amount of time that's elapsed since B.I.G., aka Biggie Smalls, aka Christopher Wallace, was killed in a still-unsolved Los Angeles shooting in March 1997, months after the murder of his former friend and rap rival Tupac Shakur.

"Notorious," starring Hollywood newcomer Jamal Woolard as the infamous Brooklyn, N.Y., rapper, finally hits theaters today.

On the eve of the movie's release, ABCNews.com spoke with Voletta Wallace, B.I.G.'s mother and a producer of "Notorious," about the making of the movie, her thoughts on the reported "East Coast/West Coast" rap feud of the '90s and how she's handling the ongoing mystery surrounding her son's death.

Q: Talk about the process of making "Notorious":

A: The thought process, I would put it at 11 years. About six years ago, the final script was done. It was not an easy process. It was an arduous one, finding the right people, finding Fox Searchlight. It was tough to find people to believe in the project. Searchlight believed in us.

Q: What were you looking for when casting someone to play your son?

A:I was looking for someone not only of Christopher's stature but someone with his personality -- someone smart, intelligent. When I read Jamal [Woolard's] bio, I was not very impressed. There were so many up-and-coming rap artists with the same bio. Looking at his picture, I didn't think he was right. But the first day I actually met him. He came in for an audition; he walked in with the Biggie attitude. He was dressed the part, he knew his lines, he was very sure of himself. When he was leaving, I said to myself, "That's my son." He displayed everything that was my son.

Q: How did you feel about showing the dark sides of your son -- the drug dealing, the violence?