|© The Wu-Tang Corp.- 2004-06-09
With his latest film, Soul Plane, Method Man takes his acting career to new heights
Method Man sure is confortable with his acting skills. "I don't need no coach to tell me how to act like me," says the Ticallion Stallion. "Maybe later on in my career, when I'm trying to get a part that's in unfamiliar waters, maaaybe then." But for the time being, Meth won't have to worry about an acting coach because he's had so much success playing characters close to his heart. In the upcoming Soul Plane, he's an entrepreneur with an affinity for strippers, and next fall, Meth and blunt brother Redman will play themselves in an untitled sitcom for the Fox network. Talk about bringing method acting to a whole 'nother level.
The Source: Soul Plane centers on a cat who gets a large settlement and starts his own airline. Where does your character fit into this?
Method Man: I play (Kevin) Hart's cousin, Mugsy. He's basically in charge of the plane's first-class section, but he's a hustler trying to get money. Mugsy's got a casino popping off, he got a strip-club going on in that muthafucka - we shooting a music video in there. Mugsy is just trying to get paid.
TS: The director of Soul Plane, Jesse Terrero, got his start directing Hip-Hop videos. Is it easier working with someone already familiar with the culture?
MM: It depens. If I've worked with someone before, it can be comfortable. He was there for the "All I Need" shoot, but he wasn't the director. He did direct the Jonell video from the How High soundtrack, though. But any place I go, I try to steal the scene on and off camera, so pretty much everybody likes me after awhile.
TS: This movie has a big ensemble cast that includes D.L. Hughley, Monique, Tom Arnold and Snoop Dogg. Was there anyone you looked forward to working with?
MM: No. I ain't even going to lie. Nope. Not at all. None of them.
TS: During filming, it was reported that you made negative comments about Snoop's acting. Where did that come from?
MM: If you really think about it, all of us rappers really ain't good at acting. When we try to go outside of our realms, it shows. I only take roles that I'm familiar with. I won't try to play a doctor 'cause I've never been one and don't even know what a doctor does. There's a lot of shit that comes along with acting - that's all I was trying to say. All the media heard was "Snoop". But I already spoke to Snoop about that.
TS: So if all rappers lack serious thespian skills, did you hire an acting coach to prepare you for your new sitcom with Redman?
MM: Nah, 'cause like I said, I don't step outside my realm. Basically, the characters are going to be me and Redman playing ourselves. We're these up-and-coming rappers - that's the only false part about it - and with our first big checks, we go and buy this big-ass house in a gated community. We're throwing parties and shit; we got bitches all around, niggas all around, we got a maid that don't do shit. It's all gravy, but then all the fun comes to an end when my moms moves in.
TS: Any other rappers on the new show?
MM: No, we was gonna have a talking goldfish with the Barry White voice named Ed that only talks after we get high. But we had to make him not talk anymore because the goldfish that they got was disgusting-looking. We got rid of that muthafucka.
TS: How did you find time to do a regular TV show? It's more of a commitment than doing a movie.
MM: Yeah, I was kind of pissed at first because I had to sacrifice some movie parts to do this damn sitcom. It's just cutting into a lot of stuff. We are filming seven days a week for a couple of months. The shit sucks. Also, you don't necessarily have to be as chipper as you do on TV. TV wants you to play it a certain way. Like, sometimes they want you to smile more. I ain't with all that shit, especially since I'm playing myself. It'll work out though 'cause I'm an executive producer on the show.
TS: That sounds like a big step.
MM: After they seen the pilot and my work ethic, they gave me my executive-producer credit. I'm just making sure nobody puts us in a bad light. Anything that has to do wit the show, I have to be there. I got to remind them that when they write, they are not writing for a character, they are writing for two actual people, since we are playing ourselves. The writers also have to remember that we are Black, and we don't do a lot of shit that they do in TV-land.
Method Man on...
DEF JAM'S LOSING OF LYOR COHEN: Everything is cool with Def Jam. Kevin Liles is still over there. He's been my ace-boon since day one, so he's gonna make sure they get it right and keep it right.
HIS NEXT BIG-SCREEN APPERANCE: Me and Red got another one called Jailbreakers. It's a remake of a Korean movie where these two guys who get locked up for mistaken identity escape from prison, but then they find out they've been acquitted, so they got to break back in the prison.
STEPPING INTO THTE DIRECTOR'S CHAIR: I directred a documentary on exotic dancers called Strip Game. I wanted to add another slash on my name, I wanted to direct. At first I just wanted to show a lot of T&A, but it took on a life of it's own after awhile. I got a whole new respect for the girls.
Words by Ryan Ford for The Source. Typed up by CNO Evil