The model turned singer turned actor sinks his teeth into this modern Bonnie and Clyde film
It's the worst feeling in the world - having your kid taken from you. Of course, your first reaction is going to the cops - but if going to the cops meant you'd be going back to jail - well, you've got to take matters into your own hands.
Tyrese does just that in his latest action film, Waist Deep; he's carjacked on a busy South Los Angeles street, with his son in the car, by gangsters working for Big Meat, played by The Game. With the help of Meagan Good, and his brother, Lucky (Larenz Tate), Tyrese is on a mission to get his son back - by whatever means necessary.
He and Meagan become a somewhat modern and urban Bonnie and Clyde as they do what they have to for his son. We caught up with Tyrese who talked about getting on set with The Game and being that '#1' on the call sheet. He also told us about his singing career, and his upcoming album.
And if you don't know by now, Tyrese is also in the new Transformers movie; he gave us some inside info into what's going on with that film and working with director, Michael Bay.
Here's what he had to say:
Was it hard to do the action sequences?
Tyrese Gibson: I was a grown man out there; I was trying to get my grown man on. It was a lot of fun and you know it was crazy; the only thing that killed me, that really caused some damage was how many times that Vondie (Curtis-Hall) had me running at a full sprint up the street chasing that car that wasn't there. That was the only thing that killed me, and I was in Timberland's, remember? So that was something. Some-tin'.
What do you get out of doing film that you don't get from making music, and which do you like more?
Tyrese Gibson: They both definitely do something for me, but of course music is my first love, music is definitely it. I've got a double album coming out called Alter Ego; I'm introducing my alter ego Black Tie.
Wasn't there some of that in the film?
Tyrese Gibson: A quick little something; I wasn't on the soundtrack because at the time I was dealing with some politics from my label. I was actually going to put the whole soundtrack on my company Head Quarter Entertainment, but I was dealing with some hip hop politics with the label. They're on board and Clive (Davis) is full on excited about this double album and that's what it's all about; we're moving forward - Tyrese, aka Black Tie, It's going to be some-tin'.
This script was pretty much written with you mind; how does that feel?
Tyrese Gibson: I'm honored, definitely; like, right now, I'm working on Transformers. Michael Bay had me in mind; him and Spielberg discussed it and they came after me. Everyone else in the film had to audition, but they came at me about the role and it's just one of them things that I definitely feel fortunate for. At this point no one is able to say that I'm only doing films because I can sing. I got over that bridge that a lot of entertainers who make a transition can't get past - 'Oh, he's only in movies because he's rapping,' or, 'He's singing and selling records and they want to pull that audience to the theater and put them in the seats.' No man, I go for mine. This is a respect thing and every transition that I make I make sure, every time that I get around something new I like to get the respect of peers that exist in that game before I get into it, you understand? I can't see this in my future, but lets say if I ever decided to become a journalist, I used to be a host - but a journalist that does what you do you would be my friend now and I would want to know how you've been able to stay in the game as long as you've stayed in it. I would ask what kinds of questions you asked around a table like this. I would pick your brain and try to become you and I would have a whole lot of you as my friends, and then when you read my articles or stories you would be rooting for me. It wouldn't be looked at as competition because we all do the same thing. So with this rap thing, that's what I did; with the acting, that's what I did. You have to surround yourself with people who live, breathe and eat something that you're trying to do, and then it becomes a motivating thing for them to want to support and get behind what you're doing - it's all good then.
What people kind of supported you in acting and really sort of got you out there?
Tyrese Gibson: Well, Denzel was my motivating reason to want to act; when I did Baby Boy, I got a call from (John) Singleton. He said, 'Tyrese, it's happening.' I said, 'What do you mean?' He said, 'It's happening; Denzel just called me and said that he wanted a print of the movie. He wants to go and have a private screening of Baby Boy because everyone is talking about it and he wants you to come and do a film that he's about to direct.' That was "Antoine Fisher", so that kind of stuff right there really just stands out in my mind because the day that I would go and do what I would consider a Hollywood dinner I have to have Denzel sitting in front of me or I'm not going.
So is there more pressure on you to do a good job with a script written for you?
Tyrese Gibson: No, you just kind of have to show up and try your best to be on the same page with everyone that you're working with and make sure that it's not about you. It's weird to say that; it's my movie, but it's not my movie because it's our movie. Everyone contributed to what this is.
What kind of conversation did you and Game have about the rap game as well as acting?
Tyrese Gibson: Nah, it's crazy; he put this rebellious energy out there. I don't know if it was purposely done or whatever, but we were expecting rebel and he came totally the opposite. He was humble and open to other's opinions, open to how to do it, how to get it done and that's the formula. That's the formula. When I did Baby Boy, I was in everyone's trailer picking their brain's because I didn't know nothing; I knew how to sing. I knew all about that stage and doing a few pushups before I go out there, but I didn't know nothing about making movies. It's a lot of pressure; I'm kind of used to it now, but to never act and then get a role and you're number one on the call sheet, you don't really know what that is on a movie set ego wise until you get there - you're number one, that's something. So my first movie, the pressure was on me; again, that's a respect thing. So with all of these real actors around me they went from probably looking at me and being mad at me to rooting for me and being on the set while I'm shooting scenes that have nothing to do with them so that they can potentially walk in and give me a little information on how to do it better. Still to this day, I'm open. Right now, I'm working with Jon Voight and John Turturro; that's a difficult last night, so I'm working with them right now and it's just crazy. They're as real as it gets, so it's like I'm picking their brain. I call Jon Voight 'my pops' now because he's just a mentor and he's letting me in on everything.
Are you a big sci-fi fan? Did you like Transformers when you were growing up at all?
Tyrese Gibson: I loved Transformers when I was a kid; my mamma appreciates it right now because the budget is so crazy on this movie.
Is this the biggest movie you've done?
Tyrese Gibson: Yeah, it's ridiculous, it's out of control; I'm having post war syndrome. What do you call it? Things are just blowing up around me all the time; I'm waking up to explosions.
How long have you been shooting it?
Tyrese Gibson: I'm four weeks into it right now; we're moving everything out here to Los Angeles starting this week. I actually have to go back; I was just with Bay last night, and we shot all day yesterday and then I got on a plane last night to come here. Then I have to go back out there; we're shooting at the Hoover Dam in Vegas right now. I have to go back there today; it's ridiculous.
What was your favorite scene to do in this film?
Tyrese Gibson: I love the scene in the car garage, when I pull up and Larenz was still in the car, I broke into that car and put my son in the front seat and had that moment with my son and had the moment with Meagan and then I pulled off. That scene is crazy to me because there are so many different emotions going on in one scene, it's crazy. I had to cover all of the bases; that was also one of those scenes where there was a lot of drama on the set that day between me and Vondie trying to figure out how to get on the same page about how to get this scene done because I get determined sometimes. Sometimes it's a little too much; I get determined to make sure that it's right. I'm not a director, but I want to make sure that if this is going to be my ass on the line that it's done within my comfort zone along with yours, and we got that done. So between that scene right there and then the one where I popped that can carrying the horse, I felt like a little man in that scene. I don't see the image of a man in movies too often.
What do you want audiences to take away from this film?
Tyrese Gibson: That a Black man loves kids too! We ain't running away from our babies.
Do you know what's going on with Luke Cage?
Tyrese Gibson: I don't know, man; things are getting done. They're re-tweaking the script and trying to get things right.
Do you think you could really fall in love with Meagan in the 32 hours you knew each other?
Tyrese Gibson: It's a little unrealistic in one setting; I guess you would expect to see feelings fly in the sequel, but that's just the way that movies go, I guess. There's a whole lot about every film that you can see that's unrealistic. I guess that once you're faced with what he has to be a part of you just figure out a way to make it work, and for me, I told Vondie straight up that it was just little much that she was a prostitute who was selling my clothes to going to where we have something on some level. But I think that as a man, unfortunately we're not able to sometimes get past a pretty face and a nice body. So it seems realistic in that sense, that on the side of a hill in the middle of the night with this pretty young tender. Even though she is whatever she is, she is still fine as hell; it's like, 'My son is kidnapped, but you know, we have a little time right now. There is a little bit of time.' So that kind of stuff, even right before we did the sex scene, if you go back and look it wasn't a full on sex scene, but you figured that something happened. I was pushing her away and trying to keep the consistency of focus.
You guys had a great chemistry.
Tyrese Gibson: Well, thank you; I'm glad that you feel that way, now we're getting somewhere. The beautiful thing is that I wasn't trying to get at her everyday; we were focusing on trying to do our jobs because we already know each other.
What did you think of the kid who played your son?
Tyrese Gibson: I loved him; that's Vondie's son, he was incredible. I was far more impressed with him than other actors that I've worked with; he was incredible. It's just not right that he's that young and know what to do already, but his moms and pops do it and he grew up around it, it's crazy.
Is there a project out there that you would love to do?
Tyrese Gibson: I won't feel like I've made it in Hollywood until I've worked with Denzel Washington and that's it; I don't care who else I work with, that's great, fine, and dandy. When I do a film with Denzel, I'll feel like I've made; I'll feel like, 'Alright, now I'm an actor.' That's my dream role right there, whatever it is; I'll play a crack-head, lets go. Give me my pipe - 'Lets do this, Denzel.'
Check out Tyrese in Waist Deep when it hits theaters June 23rd; it's rated R.