Lisa Renee Pitts – Talks Role In Straight Outta Compton, “I Was So Ready”

Lisa Renee Pitts - Talks Role In Straight Out of Compton, I Was So Ready

Lisa Renee Pitts recently completed a role as Dr. Dre’s mother in Straight Outta Compton.

The Sag/Aftra and Rutgers graduate takes some time out of her busy schedule to field a few questions from me. The Brooklyn born actress began her career in theatre and worked in the United States and in Europe. She is also an award winning audiobook narrator and producer, having narrated some 50+ titles spanning all genres from children’s novels to fantasy, memoirs to romance, classics to African American culture and so much more.

Jimy Lincoln: I believe your first job in Hollywood was a part in the TV movie “Path to Paradise: The Untold Story of the World Trade Center Bombing”. How did you get your start in acting?

Lisa Renee Pitts: I knew I wanted to become an actress at a very young age so my parents encouraged me to study my craft - perform in school plays, talent contests, drama classes etc. I attended a performance arts Jr. High School, High School and then majored in theater arts at Rutgers University where I obtained my Bachelor’s Degree. From there, I began to work professionally in theater, television and film.

Jimy Lincoln: Do you have any formal acting training? What is your process when preparing for a role?

Lisa Renee Pitts: I’m a Meisner trained actress so I’m all about developing my characters from the inside out. First things first I read the script a couple of times and then I ask myself questions like: Who am I, what do I want, where am I, what’s my relationship to other characters, what do I love about myself, dislike, etc. And that’s how I begin to develop my character

Jimy Lincoln: What was it like to receive the call for your first acting role?

Lisa Renee Pitts: Very, very exciting…I think I cried tears of joy! I’m a cryer! Lol - It’s an amazing feeling to experience the manifestation of your dreams after years of hard work. My very first professional acting role was actually in the play “Our Town” at the Syracuse Stage Theater Company in Syracuse NY. I played the lead role of Emily Webb and it was a dream come true!

Jimy Lincoln: You recently played Dr. Dre’s mother in Straight Outta Compton. What was that process like to land that role? Were there a number of call-backs or did you land the role after the first reading?

Lisa Renee Pitts: It’s kind of funny because I didn’t think I got the role! Lol – My first audition was with the casting director only and the second and final audition was with director F Gary Gray. The audition was so quick, I didn’t think I made a connection with him! Also it was about a month after that meeting before I found out that I got the role so….I had moved on to other projects.

I can’t tell you what an amazing feeling it was to get that call from my manager that the role was mine! Come to find out, most of the cast didn’t find out until much later that they had won their roles either! Just a wonderful surprise!! Again tears of joy!!

Jimy Lincoln: What was the biggest challenge about taking on this role as Dr. Dre’s mom?

Lisa Renee Pitts: Actually it wasn’t difficult for me to step into the world of this character. For whatever reason, I clearly understood her point of view and I felt that I could truthfully portray her; realistically tapping into her strength and love as a Black single mom who was willing to do what she had to do to make a life for her family.

Lisa Renee Pitts -Talks Role In Straight Out of Compton, "I Was So Ready"Jimy Lincoln: What was it like on the set of Straight Outta Compton?

Lisa Renee Pitts: One word..FAMILY! My first day of shooting everyone from Dr. Dre to Gary to the producers and the crew made me feel so welcomed and Gary created a safe space for us to work! I was so ready and comfortable….even with this A-List audience sitting outside watching! I mean it should have been nerve wracking to have THEE Dr. Dre watching you portray his MOM! Lol.. but not the case.

I’ll never forget it. The entire neighborhood came out to watch us shoot on the block so the fans enjoyed the process as well. And that was the first day that I’d met Corey Hawkins who played Dr. Dre. We hugged and just went for it! He’s a theater baby as well so we just had a ball with the scene and the slap heard around the world! lol

Jimy Lincoln: What has been your most difficult role to date, to prepare for? What made it difficult?

Lisa Renee Pitts: I consider myself an actress who sings very well, not exactly a “sanger” lol, so whenever music and harmonizing is involved, I’m working real hard on my prep! Lol They say whatever scares you, that’s the next project you need to tackle so bring on the piano! lol

Jimy Lincoln: Often when actors play a role in a particular film, it provides them with more opportunities. Has your role in Straight Outta Compton provided that for you?

Lisa Renee Pitts: Yes it has…so very grateful! Straight after Straight Outta Compton, lol I booked my next film “True to the Game” which stars Columbus Short and Vivica Fox ; directed by Preston A Whitmore II and is set for a early 2017 release. It’s based on the best-selling novel of the same name which was written by author Teri Woods! Also I have “XX” which is an all female directed anthology, with stories within the horror genre! 2017 release as well directed by acclaimed director Karyn Kusama! Currently I’ve been co starring on television shows while still auditioning….. waiting to hear back on other projects… and too, I’ve been performing in theater productions around the country.

Straight Outta Compton has even expanded my work as an audiobook narrator having narrated memoirs for singer Bobby Brown, ballerina Misty Copeland and activist Lesley McSpadden who is the mother of slain teen Michael Brown of Ferguson, Missouri. To add, I’ve been invited to be a part of national campaigns, such as Get Your Boots On Campaign, which supports military families and other causes near to my heart…..this all as a result of the platform afforded to me because of my appearance in Straight Outta Compton. My exposure in that film gave me a huge platform to introduce myself and all of my work to Hollywood and the world for that matter and I’m ever so grateful!

Jimy Lincoln: What is most exciting about your job?

Lisa Renee Pitts: I get to do what I actually love to do and believe I’m purposed to do! I’m excited for every opportunity to set foot on a stage or set or to sit or stand behind a microphone and tell stories!

Jimy Lincoln: If not for acting, what profession would you have chosen?

Lisa Renee Pitts: I’ve always wanted to be in the performing arts to some degree. I considered Broadcast TV as a Newscaster…. if the acting didn’t work out. I love anything to do with speaking creatively or actively living out the written word! I’m a storyteller in all it’s fabulous incarnations!!

Lisa Renee Pitts -Talks Role In Straight Out of Compton, "I Was So Ready"

Jimy Lincoln: Luke Cage, the bullet proof Black Super Hero has been in the news lately. If you could play a super hero, who would it be?

Lisa Renee Pitts: I’m going to say Cat Woman. Side note… I love Eartha Kitts portrayal from back in the day. I think Cat Woman is so beautifully and destructively complex…she’s a thief, sly, strong willed, independent (yet has her man when she wants, beautiful, a fighter in more ways than one and struts the epitome of sexiness! What actress wouldn’t want to play with all that!!

Jimy Lincoln: You’re from Brooklyn, and your borough is known for great MCs. Did you ever put pen to pad and write any rhymes?

Lisa Renee Pitts: Lol NO! Never!! Lol as a matter of fact, my ex-boyfriend back in the day would always freestyle for fun and would want me to join in. He’d throw me an intro line and I would stare at him like a deer in headlights…clueless! Lol I’ll stick to the performance end of the storytelling! lol

Jimy Lincoln: Who is your favorite Hip-Hop artist past or present?

Lisa Renee Pitts: Wow!! So many greats….I grew up in the 80’s in NYC so that’s a tough question but no doubt of course Dr. Dre is high on my list!! lol

Jimy Lincoln: What can people look forward to, from you?

Lisa Renee Pitts: You can follow me and keep up with the latest LisaNews on twitter: @lisareneepitts Instagram: misslee0071 FaceBook: Lisa Renee Pitts

Visit her website at as well.

One Comment

  1. Nice interview lee lee I see you smiling through out the hold thing. The movie was dope and I have watched it about 12 times it’s unreal watching you on the big screen we talked about this when we where youngsters so I feel your joy also love you cousin keep banging!

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