Why Ice Cube In 'Compton' Looks So Familiar

Don't lie: when you saw the trailer for the upcoming NWA biopic, you thought Ice Cube had sold his soul to the devil to get his youth back and play himself. Because seriously — who is the actor who plays Ice Cube in Straight Outta Compton ? The guy responsible for bringing the rapper to big-screen life is none other than his very own son, 24-year-old O'Shea Jackson Jr. The two look eerily alike, so much so that the rapper joked that he feels like he's constantly living in a Back to the Future movie. "I feel like if I run into my son in the hallway at the wrong time, I could change history," he joked to Yahoo.

Just look at the two of them — can you tell who is who? One is a legendary rapper with an established movie career, and one is just starting to make his mark in the world of entertainment. Straight Outta Compton, out Aug. 14, marks Jackson Jr.'s film debut, and though some might be ready to call nepotism, Jackson actually had to audition for the role. He told People that he worked for two years to earn the part of Ice Cube in Straight Outta Compton , going to acting classes and working with acting coaches in between numerous auditions, callbacks and screen tests. His dad made no promises, but it's obvious both wanted to keep the character of Ice Cube in the family.

Jackson Jr. said that, as the casting process continued, he couldn't imagine handing over the role to someone else, saying, "I couldn't sit in a theater and think someone is portraying my father the wrong way. If I was thinking 'Oh, he wouldn't have done that' it would've nauseated me."

As a producer on the film, Ice Cube certainly had a voice in the casting process, but the rapper has insisted that it was Universal who had the final say. And, besides, Ice Cube didn't want to hand his son the role without being sure he could do it justice. "If we found a better Cube, then we had to go with the best man for the job. That's how acting and movie shoots work. So I couldn't give it to him — and I wouldn't if I could because that's easy," the star told People.

And, after two years of hard work, Jackson Jr. found himself in the final three contenders for the role, and sealed the deal after showing off his rapping skills. Filmmakers wanted Straight Outta Compton to be as authentic as possible, which meant having actors that could re-record the classic NWA tracks used in the film. Having rapped alongside his father his entire life, and being an aspiring rapper himself, Jackson Jr. was a natural, and he booked the job.

Now that the movie is finally gearing up for release, Ice Cube couldn't be prouder of his son. "I'm proud on a thousand different levels. You always want your kids to step up at the moment of truth, and he did more than step up. He just owned it. I'm proud of the production. I'm proud of the movie. I'm proud of the group. I have never been this happy for any project that I've ever done," the rapper gushed in an interview with the Associated Press.

Adorable, right? It's hard to imagine anything bonding a father and son more than making a biopic together, with the son walking in his dad's big-screen shoes.

Images: Universal Pictures