Ariana Neal Cast To Play Nicki Minaj In Television Series

(Radio.com) Actress Ariana Neal has been cast to play a young Nicki Minaj in an upcoming television series based on the rapper's formative years in Queens, New York.

"I literally cried watching her taped audition," Minaj captioned an Instagram post. "I demanded to meet her! Sat in a room with her teaching her how to rap by doing a beat on the table & forcing her to stay on beat! Lol. Then pulled out all the attitude she had in her lil body. Haha! She's tough! And so sweet & cute."

But this isn't the first time Neal has played the younger self of a hip-hop star. In 2013 she took on the role of a young Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes in VH1's Crazy, Sexy, Cool: The TLC Story.

Born and raised in McDonough, GA, Neal is probably best know for playing Tatiana in the critically acclaimed Fruitvale Station. "We are so proud of Ariana. She and her whole family are such beautiful people," said City of McDonough Media Specialist Casey Case. "We are so proud of her success. We came to know her as the young actress on the Georgia lottery commercial back in 2012. We wish her all the success in the world."

Minaj announced the entire cast, including guest star Whoopi Goldberg, as well as the series' title "Nicki" via Instagram. "I am honored and excited to announce that I've literally hand picked the main characters of my scripted series "Nicki" ~ #ABCFamily #Freeform ~ I've been going to the auditions falling in love with some incredible people. Looking forward to unveiling this groundbreaking new show for you guys."

See Nicki's posts here.

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Copyright Radio.com/CBS Local - Excerpted here with permission.

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