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“Any son would love to play their father, but it’s all about if you can do it or not– not about what you want to do.” That’s the attitude Demetrius “Lil Meech” Flenory Jr. took to portraying his father, Big Meech, in the new Starz family crime drama BMF. In fact, it wasn’t necessarily Flenory Jr.’s idea to act, let alone play his dad. It was executive producer 50 Cent who put the son of the notorious Detroit drug dealer into acting classes to see if he had what it takes after casting calls across the country came up short.

“He’s the one that believed in me before I believed in myself,” Flenory Jr. says.

Acting ability aside, it’s one thing to play a fictitious character on screen and wholly another to truly walk in your father’s footsteps on a TV series. Flenory Jr., who stars along Da’Vinchi as Terry “Southwest T” Flenory, credits the show’s creator Randy Huggins with prioritizing authenticity when shaping the storyline and even filming some episodes in Detroit in addition to Atlanta.

“We actually got to walk the same steps my dad and my uncle walked,” he shares. “My grandma was on set crying so we knew we were doing it right.”

As far as any difficulties reenacting the life the elder Flenory brothers actually lived, Flenory Jr. admits, “Talking to my dad every night and understanding where he was at that point was probably the hardest part. Just putting myself in his shoes and me and Da’Vinchi talking about it and trying to understand where Meech and Terry where at this point in time and the obstacles they faced and tying it to our real lives for it to be natural and for it to be authentic.”

Of course, the young actors didn’t have to do it alone, given the star-studded cast of the series. And that’s what made the experience so rewarding, Flenory Jr. says. “Me and Da’Vinchi got to learn from veterans —Russell Hornsby, Michole White, Wood Harris, Snoop, all types of people. It couldn’t have been better.:”

Check out our full interview with Demetrius Flenory Jr. in the video above.

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