The rapper turns to the acting world for his debut film
It's hard out there for a hip-hop star when your former partner becomes a mega-star. The Game kind of got the short end of the stick after he bad-mouthed his then-G Unit member, 50 Cent.
But, The Game has done pretty well for himself; he had a monster hit with his first solo album, The Documentary, where he got back at 50 with his lyrics and record sales. And now, he's got one more thing to add to the list of things he can do as well - act.
The Game got the role of gangster, Big Meat, in the new urban, action-thriller, Waist Deep, also starring Tyrese Gibson, Larenz Tate, and Meagan Good. He is the ring leader in carjacking Tyrese and kidnapping his son.
The rapper talked about getting his first film role - and surprisingly, it wasn't his first offer - just the first one he found appealing. And I had to find out what kind of music was played on the set; was there competition between The Game and Tyrese on who got control of the stereo?
And what's going on with The Game's sophomore album, The Doctor's Advocate?
Find out what he had to say in our interview:
What was this like for you, doing your first movie?
The Game: It was a real dope experience; I just appreciated the opportunity first of all given to me by Vondie (Curtis-Hall), he's a great director. Then, Larenz Tate and Tyrese; they were in my trailer every morning at 4am coaching me and going over lines. I had no idea that this movie sh*t is so crazy; it's the hardest sh*t in the world, it's crazy.
Did you have fun?
The Game: A hundred percent; I had to fallback and jump all the way into this character and even though the character suits my lifestyle and where I'm from, being a gangster rapper and playing a character that's a villain, a gangster in the movie, but it still wasn't easy. Acting is not easy; it's long days and long nights, but at the end of the day reward is real big. I can't wait to get to the premiere.
When you and Tyrese were in the trailer in the morning and off camera what did you guys talk about? What kind of advice did he give you?
The Game: He coached me on everything from facial expressions to my lines and how to deliver every word, not how to deliver every word - 'and's' and 'I's' and 'F*ck you' and 'I'll kill you.' Tyrese is great, man; he's a veteran actor and he's still under thirty. He's one of my greatest friends in the industry and is just a very talented guy and I appreciated it everyday because he didn't have to do what he did for me.
So was there battle about who's songs were going to be played on set?
The Game: I won that battle.
What kind of music was played on the set?
The Game: On the set, man, we was playing everything from old school Anita Baker to NWA; anything that got us inspired for the day, anything to get us going. After a couple of Starbuck's coffees we were up and rolling.
What was it about this film that made you want to do it?
The Game: I saw the check, and then I saw the script.
Had you been offered other films before?
The Game: Yeah, I've been offered a bunch of films, but I was busy on my hip hop career - that's first and the most important thing; that was the foundation for everything that I'm trying to do. You can't do anything without the foundation and so I had to set myself up so that I can have longevity in hip hop before I can venture out and try to do other things, but now I'm ready to roll.
What do you think is harder to do based on your experience at this point, films or music?
The Game: The movie industry is harder than the music industry; I don't understand how they do it and that's the only part. I can't wait to get the opportunity to play another role in a movie, but I can wait for the long days and the waking up at 4am, the alarm clock being your worst enemy and you have a 5am call time and then you don't shoot until 2pm. So you're just sitting in your trailer doing nothing, it's crazy. For this film, Waist Deep, I had to wear a prosthetic eye, so I kind of new half of what it felt like to be Jamie Foxx in Ray being that I couldn't see out of my right eye. But it was a wonderful experience and I can't wait to do it again, really.
How long did it take to apply the eye?
The Game: Two hours, it was two hours of sitting there with sticky glue and putty on your face and makeup; I hate makeup, so that was crazy.
Was it hard for you to stop being your character after the film was over? Did you get into it that much?
The Game: Now that was the hardest thing to do because after the movie wrapped and after we went home after a hard day of work I have all of my friends and homies calling me Big Meat. Then, I'm this wide and I'm punking the valet dudes and I'm talking crazy at Starbucks - 'Where's that mocha?! A mocha, fool!' So it got real crazy, but that is the hardest transition to make, jumping out of character and jump back into my skin. The comparison of Big Meat to The Game and where I come from was easier than lets say someone playing a retarded kid and then going back to being a regular person. So it's easier for me though I am looking for a more challenging role, but it was definitely, definitely hard to shake Big Meat for a long time.
Were there people from your neighborhood growing up that you maybe based this character on?
The Game: I'm Big Meat; yeah, myself minus a couple of chopped off arms.
So you've never gone after anyone with a machete?
The Game: Oh, never; why would I do that!
Is the competition in the acting business a hard thing to deal with?
The Game: No, I mean, we're all young, black aspiring entrepreneurs and businessmen; no one was hating on anyone. You get in, get your money and get out, and may the best man win it. You either get yourself an acting coach or step it up or something - I'm definitely coming for your job if I'm presented with the opportunity.
How is the music coming? Is there another album coming out?
The Game: What? You thought that I was just going to put out one album and then go away forever? No, I have an album coming out this fall and it's titled The Doctor's Advocate. It'll be twenty times better than the first album; it'll make the first album sound like a mix tape. It's crazy, man; it's coming out this fall - The Doctor's Advocate that's pretty much all I'm going to say about that.
So it's completely finished at this point?
The Game: Yeah, it's 98% done; the only thing that has to be done now is putting it into the plastic.
Are you looking at more movie offers?
The Game: I've got tons of scripts after this Waist Deep film; I got so many scripts that it's ridiculous. You know how it is, when they're in script form you can't really talk about them, but there are a lot of roles out there and I'm going to pick the best one and I'm going to take them one at a time.
Are going to take the one with the best check?
The Game: Base it on the check, yeah.
Would you mind playing this same character in another movie?
The Game: I'm not going to base my whole acting career on playing only gangster roles; I don't want to be tagged that - 'When you need a gangster call Game.' Nah, my next role I might be playing a guy who thinks he's a wolf or something, I don't know. But I definitely need a more challenging role than being a gangster, that was too easy for me.
Is there any role that you wouldn't do?
Did you see Brokeback Mountain?
The Game: No, I didn't see that; I want no part of that. I didn't even want to sit next to anyone in Brokeback Mountain.
There are some good actors in that movie.
The Game: I bet, I'll take your word for it.
What would be your dream role?
The Game: My dream role would be to play anything opposite Denzel Washington.
You'll have to fight Tyrese for that.
The Game: I'll fight him now for that; tell me where to go.
Knowing how you grew up, do you ever think that you would trade that for a kinder, gentler childhood?
The Game: I wouldn't trade my life for anything in the world because once you've been through hardship and once you've hopped over them hurdles you live a life like no one else. Once you survive all of that you can appreciate life twenty million times more than someone who grew up with a silver spoon in their mouth and that's the truth. Anyone will tell you that that's the truth - the rich kid will tell you that that's the truth. You get these kids and they grow up having everything that they want and they end up committing suicide because they've had it all; they've done it all, they can buy anything and there is nothing worth struggling for. There is nothing worth working for; everything is given to them and that's not a good life at all, I don't think.
Would you have done what Tyrese had to do in this film if you were in his shoes?
The Game: I didn't need to think about it; it's just me and my son, me and my son. My father wasn't really there for me growing up; I grew up in a foster home which is a home full of ethnicity, Blacks, Asians, I had Mexican brothers. I used to get laughed at and talked about at school because they would be like, 'Ah, your brother speaks Chinese.' They use to call us Kareem Abdul Jabar and Bruce Lee, all kinds of things. So when I had my son it was beauty beyond beauty; I really appreciate it. I thank G-d every night still to this day and any time that I can take him just to take him out that's what I do. I don't do it on purpose, it's just something that I said I would do for my child. I said that if I ever had kids I would be the father that my father wasn't; that's what I'm doing.
When you were just watching this film as a fan what's something that you noticed that was pivotal in the film?
The Game: I haven't seen anything; I wouldn't look at the playback. I'm all for surprises and so I don't know, the movie could suck; I'll find out at the premiere. Just being there daily and participating and doing my job and then being off set behind the scenes and watching Tyrese and Larenz or Meagan do their thing I know that it's going to be a great movie. But I definitely haven't seen it yet.
What's your favorite film?
The Game: My favorite movie is anything good; I'll take a good movie from The Sixth Sense to Boyz N' The Hood, it doesn't matter to me. I think in the last few weeks I saw the opening of The Da Vinci Code and the cartoon Cars, so I'm anything; I'm a fool for a good movie.
And you can judge for yourself when you check out The Game in Waist Deep rolling into theaters June 23rd; it's rated R.