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EXCLUSIVE: Kat Graham Dishes on Playing Jada Pinkett Smith in Tupac Biopic: 'I've Always Loved This Woman'

by Zach Seemayer 5:00 PM PDT, May 07, 2017
Playing EXCLUSIVE: Kat Graham Dishes on Playing Jada Pinkett Smith in Tupac Biopic: 'I've Always Loved This Woman'

Kat Graham is going from the fantastic world of The Vampire Diaries to the real world in the upcoming Tupac Shakur biopic All Eyez On Me, where she plays a young Jada Pinkett Smith -- and the actress says she's just now starting to get nervous.

Speaking with ET on the MTV Movie & TV Awards red carpet, the 27-year-old actress admitted that she hadn't been nervous "until today when people are like, 'Aren't you nervous?'" "People are like, 'Jada's gonna see this movie,' and I was like, 'Ugh, I hadn't thought about that,'" Graham joked.

WATCH: Kat Graham on Working With Prince and How He Taught Her to Go 'Against the Grain'

The actress, however, says she has nothing but reverence for the Gotham actress, who had been a close friend of the iconic rapper after they met in high school at the Baltimore School for the Arts, before their careers really took off in the early 90s.

"I've always loved this woman," Graham shared. "Just a consistently focused, driven, socially conscious person, so thank you lord for letting me have the opportunity to play this role."

WATCH: Kat Graham Says She Wouldn't Consider 'Vampire Diaries' Spinoff : 'It Was Like Bootcamp'

Graham also said that she's excited to be a part of a project that is so timely and relevant to the social climate in America today.

"We're at a time right now where African Americans - a lot of people, not just African Americans, a lot of people, especially in America -- don't feel like they're getting heard," she shared. "Tupac was somebody that was in your face, he challenged the system, and that's what made him so prolific."

While Graham might feel some jitters about portraying the life of an actress she respects so much, it seems Pinkett Smith isn't concerned. The 45-year-old star actually called Graham with her blessing.

WATCH: Tupac: 'All Eyez on Me' Trailer Gives a First-Look at New Biopic on Late Rapper's Birthday

ET spoke with Graham a year ago, and she opened up about getting the actress' support.

"She called me a few weeks ago and we talked about the project and I told her what I was doing in it and parts of her life that we're recreating, and she's extremely supportive and a loving woman," Graham marveled, recalling that she cried when Pinkett Smith told her that she trusted her to portray her story.

"It's nice to be trusted with something as profound as that, and I just want to do her justice," she added. Check out the video below to hear more.

All Eyez On Me hits theaters June 16.

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