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Interview: Josh Duhamel on making 'Unsolved:The Murders of Tupac and the Notorious B.I.G.'

Josh Duhamel as Detective Greg Kading
Photo: Isabella Vosmikova/USA Network
Hollywood has long told the story of some of the most infamous unsolved crimes of the rich and famous - now it tackles another one in USA Network's new limited series, “Unsolved: The Murders Of Tupac And The Notorious B.I.G.” The 10-episode true-crime series follows the police investigations of Detective Greg Kading (Josh Duhamel) and Detective Russell Poole (Jimmi Simpson) into the controversial murders of rappers, Tupac Shakur (Marcc Rose) and Christopher Wallace aka The Notorious B.I.G. (Wavyy Jonez).  

Greg Kading, a former LAPD Detective from the 2006 investigation into the murders is the author of the book "Murder Rap," and also serves as co-executive producer on the series. 

Kading's book is something that Duhamel relied heavily on when shooting the series as well as direct contact with Kading himself. 

"You know, the amount of information that you get from the book, I watched everything that I could get my hands on," Duhamel said about researching for the role. "I used him as a resource constantly.  He was on set with us most of the time.  But, for me, what was more, I wanted to know, what it felt like to actually go through that and how invested he got and how invested Russell Poole got in this.
And it was really about these two guys, one of which pretty much lost everything because of it, including his life.  And my character, who sort of paralleled him, ten years later, almost went down that same rabbit hole because they became so obsessed and so invested in finding justice for both Tupac and Biggie's families."

At the root of the story for Duhamel is how the impact the murders and investigations had on everyone around the rappers. 

"The obstacles we had to overcome to make this show legally and musically were tremendous. To me what this [story] really is about is, not just because they were famous pop stars,  but it's also about what its like to lose a family member; what does a mother go through; what about the people around them? For many reasons [the investigators] were unable to do it officially. I believe we know who did it but the fact that we're never really able to give Voletta Wallace, Chris's mother, true justice is pretty tragic." 

The music of the two artists remains some of the most talked about and listened to of all-time. For Duhamel, the 20-year anniversary of their deaths has brought it even more into the spotlight. 

"I was a fan of Tupac and Biggie well before I got this job," Duhamel told TVMusic Network. "They are two icon Rap, Hip Hop superstars who really pushed the envelope and affected a whole generation. I'm a kid who grew up in North Dakota as far from New York City and California as you can be and I listened to their stuff all the time when I was younger. When I first moved to California, I was living up North close to where Tupac lived in Marin City so I learned a lot more about him then. He died shortly after and then Biggie died. I knew but I didn't really now obviously. Getting ready for this part was completely different. It's bizarre and wild. You couldn't write this... You couldn't make it up."

"Unsolved: The Murders of Tupac and The Notorious B.I.G." airs Tuesdays at on 10:00 p.m. ET/PT on USA Network.  

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