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September 2005
Roll Bounce: An Interview with Bow Wow

Roll Bounce: An Interview with Bow Wow, continued

By Wilson Morales

Was acting something that you wanted?

BW: Yeah, without a doubt.

Before the rapping?

BW: No, it wasn't something I wanted to do before but I knew that once I got hot I knew that it would just lean into my music career which it did and I knew that any time you're successful in anything that you do, it opens a lot of doors so if I _____wake him I know as an actor and all of a sudden I want to do music it would be easy for me to music and I know its more common, its more easy for us to do movies.

Did you try out for this role or did they come to you?

BW: No, they came right to me.

Was there any moment that you hesitated in taking on this responsibility of carrying this movie, because there really is some intense moments?

BW: Yeah, no, not at all. I mean, I've had my experiences, one experience was "Like Mike", I felt like "Johnson Family Vacation", I kicked that movie so the critics say but yeah, I love being the head man in charge, like I love taking a lot of work, and I love having to do all the work because it pays off in the long run. Like I said it only opens more doors and I definitely got a kick out of being the main character and I love playing X. I could see no one else playing X because if it wasn't me then I would be looking at the screen like that should have been me up there playing that dude, so. And I do that a lot.

Where do you get that confidence?

BW: From myself. I'm very self motivated, and everything that I do comes within me so I get a lot of it from my mother. My mother's a very strong woman so I get a lot of it from myself and her.

Back to music, what do you listen to right now and who are the artists out there who haven't made a big hit but you really feel are at the verge of stardom?

BW: Right now I really haven't had time to listen to anybody but I just bought Kanye West's album, and I bought Tony YaYo's album. I'm a big fan of hip hop. I like to support everybody. The ones that I like so I definitely picked up those two albums and anything that is hot that comes out new because I got to make sure that I have some music in my car so I just go to the record store. I actually go to the record stores and I go buy them myself as supposed to somebody trying to give them to me for free like labels always do but I like to just go out and support the artists and buy records.

You have an afro in the film. How much maintenance does that take?

BW: For the hair it was cool because actually when I went out for the road - I had to just stand behind the camera and that was it, okay, but when I did it I asked Malcolm. I know when I had the role, I said, I only wear my hair, I know it's a 70s movie and I didn't even cut my hair and I was just being lazy and I just didn't go to my barber and he was like just leave it like that. I remember when I was in and I had on a New York Yankee hat and that was it and a white tee shirt and I bumming that day and I was like "You sure?", and he was like "Yeah". "You don't want me to cut it off, I can cut it, I had like a little fro like how it is", I said. I can cut it back up but I was just being lazy you know, and I just didn't go to my barber and he said, no, no, because that's perfect and so when I was doing that I was like man, okay I couldn't cut my hair because I had to do the movie and every scene had to look the same so over the time my hair just kept growing and growing and I was like forget it man, I'm just going to get my braids back and that's basically how that was and then with the clothes thing it had its advantages and disadvantages. I'm not used to wearing tight clothes but I figure if I wear it, they can definitely show my definition and my cuts - so I figured it would be all right for the ladies so that's how I looked at it.

When you make music how do you start, do you prefer to start with your lyrics or do you prefer to start with your beats? Do you even need a beat?

BW: It all depends, I was just thinking about that not too long ago. It all depends on how I feel. If I feel a certain way I can write really well. Sometimes you get writer's block which is a thing where you just can't write; you just can't think enough and you just call it a day and you come back tomorrow and try to finish it but sometimes it's easier. One thing I've learned is easier for me is do without the music then once I hear the music I have so much written down that I now have what to put on this beat or does it sound right on this one, so that's basically how I work.

Speaking of the ladies looking out - and stuff in the movie your character has a really tough time opening up the girl. Do you have any dating disasters you can tell us about?

BW: No, it was always cool.

Could you throw anything on to the character?

BW: No, man, I can't relate because I ain't shy. I never get nervous when I'm around women.

There was no one out there, not even the first one?

BW: No. Never, never.

How about somebody that you may have met at the VMAs?

BW: Nobody. No, I never had to, I just smile at them and they just come.

Was the Video Music Awards (VMAs) the first time you and Ciara came out in public as a couple?

BW: We went to the BET awards together, and we did the red carpet thing but we didn't actually do it like we did at the VMAs. We did like a lot of our press and stuff together and we sat together for the same time so I mean it's cool, and we're used to it. Just trying to get everybody to see us two but it's like a regular situation, and it's like any other celebrity couple.

When celebrity couples get together the media goes crazy and that's a lot of pressure. How is that, and how are you dealing with that?

BW: I'm a cool dude so I deal with it. I mean nobody's making me say anything, and everything is cool so I just deal like it's any other situation but you know it just happens to be that she's hot and she's a celebrity and you know it happens to be the same on my end but it's cool. We're both handling it really well.

You're in the spot light now because of this movie coming out as well as the music but when you think about the film career, what is it that you're looking for? They came to you with this script but what are you looking at?

BW: I look at it a lot like any time I get a script I look at it a lot even with this film in particular. I look at everything, and is this something I want to do, do I see myself doing it, am I the main character, am I the supporting character, what exactly am I doing on this movie that I would see or is it different or is it a challenge because every other movie that I've done has been so easy for me. "Like Mike" was simple, even though it was a huge movie it was so simple to do. "Johnson Family Vacation" was so easy for me to do because I had to basically play the kid who wanted to become a rapper and I'm saying that was easy and now Roll Bounce was a challenge because it's totally different. When you see this character you don't see Bow Wow and I think that's what I want people to take when they see this movie is that it's the simple fact that this is not Bow Wow that you're seeing, this is a different person. I got way more movies lined up now. Everybody's going to see this, there, when they see the real action and they knew that this cat can really act on screen. I've definitely got some crazy movies lined up, the next movie I'm doing is probably the biggest movie in my career, but I can't say the name yet. It's fast pack action. You've seen it before. The third one, I'm just going to leave it at that. Very big.

Are you looking to do something serious at some point?

BW: I just want to show everybody that I can do everything; there's really nothing that I can't do from comedy. I'm trying to stay away from the family films. I mean I've done them already so it's kind of like I don't want to keep doing the same thing, and that's what I'll be known for so I'm just really trying to step out of the box so now I'm giving people a diverse, universal type of, sole type of feeling in this one, kind of drama, I haven't really done a drama yet. I consider this like a drama. I need some drama in its own sense and then to leave this one and then go do a movie for four months and that be an action packed adrenaline rush type of film and it would be something different like man, like okay he gives us the little kid, cute, I want to take the orphan home movie and then he does the family thing and he gives us this game thing and now he's doing this like what's next. The only thing that I really want to do is a horror film but I want to make sure that I do the right one. There are a lot of cheesy horror films that musicians get into and they always end up dying, it's just cheesy so I want to make sure if I do a horror film it's a good one, and it's a right one.

So what movies have inspired you or people who have inspired you in the acting side?

BW: Tupac. Hands down, I know everybody thinks I was going to say Denzel Washington or somebody else, but no Tupac. I really respected Tupac; one of my favorite movies that he was in was Juice. I really respect him a lot when he played Bishop. Actually, to be honest I watched that movie a lot when I was doing Roll Bounce because I kind of looked at myself with my character X as similar to him in some ways so I tried to find ways to compare X to Bishop. I feel like even though his career was cut short, I feel like if he was to still be here I think that he would have dominated the film world.

What do you make of the films that you have been in? Some of them are drama and at the same time they are comedies. Having worked with Cedric the Entertainer, what do you make of co-stars, Mike Epps and Charlie Murphy and their skills as comedians?

BW: I mean, you got different styles; Cedric's the more cool laid back OG you know what I'm saying, that type of dude, then you got Mike, which is crazy and he just don't care and they you got Charlie Murphy, he's his own man, he has his own style, and I look at comedians like rappers; everybody has their own style or their own way about going, and doing things. I had a lot of fun working with all of them. I'm just blessed and fortunate that I've done four movies and had an opportunity to work with a lot of great actors, not only actors but comedians as well and just a great cast so, yeah, I'm fortunate.

You said Tupac is your inspiration for movies, what is some of the first music that really inspired you to become a musician?

BW: I was introduced to hard labor, gangster rap, NWA, Snoop, being that Snoop discovered me, now I listen to Snoop still to this day. Eminem, Jay Z, those are guys I really respect a lot, that's really about it.

Not that you're off the tour, what's going on as far as music?

BW: Oh my God, a lot like this album is still not done. I'm about to drop a third single. The single is called "Fresh Azimiz" which is going to feature Nellie on it; it's a special edition and we are going to do a video for it. Also me and Omarion, who was on tour with me are doing the best of both worlds album.

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