Demetrius Flenory Jr., son of the currently incarcerated Black Mafia Family founder Demetrius Flenory, never planned on becoming an actor — until rapper/producer Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson suggested he play his father in a TV series.
“I got a call from my dad, who’s in prison, and he told me 50 Cent had the rights to the BMF story and he could do whatever he wanted with it – a movie or a TV series,” Flenory Jr., 21, told The Post.
“The first casting was in Atlanta, and my dad wanted me to go meet Fifty [Cent] so that I could see how everything was going to work.”
There, the rapper/executive producer told Flenory Jr. that he wanted to move him to LA and enroll him in acting classes so that he could star in the “BMF,” airing Sundays at 8 p.m. on Starz.
“At first it sounded crazy — I had never acted before,” said Flenory. “I was actually in school for business at UNLV, in Las Vegas. [Now] I want to act for the rest of my life. I feel like I found my calling. So, Fifty basically brought acting to me. He’s the reason that I’m acting. He helped me get the role, but I had to earn it and show the network [that I was the right choice].”
Flenory Jr., guided by Jackson, took acting classes five days a week for two years before shooting began on “BMF.”
The drama, which has already been renewed for a Season 2, is primarily set in the 1980s and is inspired by the life of Demetrius Flenory and his brother, Terry (Da’Vinchi, “All American”), who went from being small-time cocaine dealers in Detroit to founding one of the most influential crime families in the country. Eminem and Snoop Dogg also appear in the show in supporting roles. At the height of their power, the brothers led a national drug ring with over 500 employers distributing more than $270 million worth in cocaine; they also entered the hip-hop world with BMF Entertainment before being sentenced to 30 years behind bars in 2005.
“My dad has seen [the show], my family has seen it, and they all love it,” Flenory Jr. said. “Of course, they wanted to make sure that I knew what I was doing. But once they got the chance to see me in action, they saw how seriously I was taking it. My ultimate goal is to make them proud.”
During his childhood and teen years, Flenory Jr. visited his father in prison once a month for eight hours. He could no longer see him in-person while he was preparing for the show and living in LA, so they switched to daily phone calls.
“He gave me insight and told me where his mindset was at the time. I didn’t know a lot about his childhood and how he grew up,” Flenory Jr. said. “I didn’t understand how poor he was, and the decisions he had to make. He thought he had to be a man at 15, 16 years old. So, he had to really help me to understand the obstacles that he was facing at the time.”
Aside from talking to his dad, Flenory Jr. said he watched “Goodfellas” and “The Sopranos” in order to prepare for the role. But the mob element isn’t all there is to the show or to his father’s story, he said.
“People misjudge what type of man he is,” he said. “People don’t understand how loving and how much of a caring person he is. They only know what they hear. So, this story will help people understand. BMF is much more than drug dealers, much more than mafia or whatever you think.
“I hope everybody can get to see [the show] and read between the lines and understand that it’s about brotherhood and loyalty and family. It has a soul to it.”