TJ Atoms plays the late Ol’ Dirty Bastard in the Hulu series Wu-Tang: An American Saga. His character fell out with RZA at the end of season 2 after learning RZA opted out of signing him to his dream label, Def Jam Records. TJ says the third season picks up with the aftermath of that decision.
“We just see what happens after he gets signed … and we get to see what he goes through and we follow him a little bit in the first three episodes to see what ODB[‘s] life [is] like after the decision,” he says. “So it’s a real adventure. ODB gets into a lot of different stuff that we probably will expect and not expect.”
Some of those challenges are revealed in episode three, which is TJ’s favorite episode. He says, “We get to dive into the mind of Ol’ Dirty Bastard and we get to see his inspiration for why he created the Return to the 36 Chambers. We going into a whole other universe, it’s based in the ’70s, so it’s just some, like, whole different world that I don’t think we’ve ever seen before, especially not in the Wu-Tang universe.”
TJ took on the role at the beginning of the series. With it coming to an end, he says he loved “everything” about playing the late rapper. He’s also received some great reactions from the rapper’s kids.
“They love it,” he says. “I feel like they could tell I really took my time with the character, and I just didn’t make … him funny. He has depth, you know … We see this larger-than-life character portrayed in interviews, but we don’t get to see the personable side of Ol’ Dirty Bastard, so I think that’s what I brought to him.” (AUDIO 1-ON-1).
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