INT: Snoop Dogg
Few entertainers today are as much of a double-threat as Snoop Dogg. In addition to his multi-platinum rap gig, Snoop has also won acclaim for his acting in such films as OLD SCHOOL and GIRLS GONE WILD: DOGGY STYLE (for which he won a prestigious Adult Video News award). This week, Snoop teams up again with Old School director Todd Phillips in STARSKY & HUTCH, opening this Friday. In it, Snoop plays who else the superfly pimp/snitch, Huggy Bear. A role that many rappers dream of playing, it was reportedly pursued by more than one big name from the hip-hop world. In the end, it was no contest, as there is really only one person truly meant to play this role: Snoop d-o-double-g. Wearing Carolina blue sweats and accompanied by his pal, the Archbishop Don Magic Juan (yep, thats his name. The dude wore a fluorescent green suit and carried a diamond-encrusted chalice. I swear.), Snoop gave us the lowdown on his latest foray into the film world.
How influential was the culture of the 1970s, in terms of your style?
To me, the seventies were very inspirational and very influential to me, with my whole persona as Snoop Dogg, as a person, as a rapper. I just love the seventies style, the way all the players dressed nice, you know, kept their hair looking good, drove sharp cars and they talked real slick.
So you could relate to this character.
Yeah yeah, thats me, baby. Huggy is me, ya dig?
I heard they decided to shoot more with you, based on your popularity with test audiences. Was it strange to go back to shooting?
Definitely, you know, because I thought once I was done I thought I was done. They told me I had to come do some more scenes, and I thought I had messed up. I didnt know, you dig?
What scene did they add?
The one where I was holding a damn iguana. I dont hold iguanas and Im not good with reptiles and I really had to hold a real iguana and it was awww!
Did you get into wearing the clothes?
I loved that mink coat, with all the flavors on it, like a rainbow. I loved that coat.
Did you keep any of them?
I kept a lot of the outfits, a lot of the jewelry. They was real cool with me on the set, because they felt, you know, that was a part of me. I was Huggy, you dig? So, if I wanted to it, I should get it. I continue to bring Huggy to life.
How tough was it to play off of Vince Vaughn when he smacked you around?
Now that was hard, because he slapped the shit of me on one scene.
Did you ever hit him back?
No, I was about to, but I stayed in character. I didnt know the director had pulled him to the side and told him, Yeah, slap him on this one. It caught me off guard. You know, they was like, Oh, it was great! It came off, you should have seen the look on your face! I said, Yeah, I was about to beat his ass.
How tough is it to stay in character when you have all these funny actors around?
Thats the fun part of it, to be able to compete with them, to be able to throw things off of them and to catch what theyre throwing at you. So I think I did well with everybody I was on screen with. I had the most fun working with Fred Williamson even though we didnt have a real healthy scene, but he was somebody who I grew up loving everything he did as a kid, you know, thats the Hammer, thats Black Caesar, you know what Im saying, and just being able to have a line with him was true for me.
Would you consider acting to be a natural extension of your music?
Yeah I think through my videos Ive always tried to show a little piece of acting, in every video Ive been a part of, but they only give us four minutes for videos, so thats what really made me want to step into the movie world, because I wasnt able to breathe like I want to breathe on the video side like I am on the movie side, so hopefully everybody will be more interested in the next couple of projects I have coming out, and they will enjoy this one.
Why does it seem like rappers make better actors that rock stars?
I dont know. Probably because we take more craft, more art, more time on our craft. Once a rapper gets respect as an actor, its his job to step all the way up and want to be the best, because, in the rap world, its so competitive- to be the best- so anything that we do we strive to be the best, so thats why its cool for us to take those knocks and bruises and bumps- well, why are these rappers getting all of these roles? Its because the rappers deserve these roles, because when they pull them off and the movies make money, Hollywoods happy, and the rapper becomes an actor now.
Did you get a chance to meet the original Huggy Bear?
I worked with him before on one of my videos in the past, Doggy Dogg World, 1993 off my Doggystyle record. But I didnt get to talk to him or work with him on this movie. I dont know why, but it just didnt happen, but for the most part, I feel like I did him justice by playing Huggy and bringing a little bit more flavor and just doing what Huggy did for me as a kid, hopefully hell do for kids today.
Is there an ideal movie role for you?
I dont know. I just want to play in good movies with good directors, and you know, I want to step up and get bigger and better. I dont want this to be as far as I can go- I want to go further than this.
In terms of music, whats the next step for you, having accomplished pretty much everything in the recording industry?
Ive gotta make one more record that solidifies my career.
Anyone you want to work with that you havent yet?
On the music side? I like Quincy Jones. I think we could come up with something sharp.
Who influenced you when you were growing up?
Oh definitely Richard Pryor. Musically, uh, I like Bootsy Collins, George Clinton. In sports, I like Magic Johnson, Muhammed Ali, all those guys were inspirational and influential to me as a kid.
Were you involved in choosing any of the outfits you wear in the movie?
Not with the beginning stages but more or less after the outfit was found and they would shape it and mold it.
Were there any that didnt make it into the movie?
Yeah, there was probably one or two outfits, but for the most part, the lady that did the outfits, shes just remarkable.
Was there always going to be a more pimped-out version of Huggy in the film?
I think if the Huggy in the seventies had more room like I had more room, I think he would have did it like I did it. I think that back then, television wasnt ready for what Im bringing on the big screen, and that Huggy Bear gave me the vision to want to be this Huggy Bear, to bring him off with a space-age twist.
Is it fun to play cool like you did in the film?
Yeah, to be a cool dude in the movie, because Im usually, you know, Im usually the bad guy or I get usually killed in the movie, but this is a movie where I think the audience is going to be loving it, and rooting for Huggy and wanting to see more of him.
Do you think perceptions of you will change as a result of you doing this movie?
I dont know- I aint seen the movie yet, so I dont know. Maybe after I see it I can voice the opinion.
Any future plans with the TV show?
Right now we have not made plans to film any more episodes. I liked the six that I did, I thought I did real good, I just want to end it on that note. I dont want to try to reduplicate it, because theres so many reality shows out right now that I want to be different. When I was doing it, it was like it was just me, and me. Now its everybody.
What are you doing next?
Im in the process of working on this 213 record, thats me, Warren G and Nate Dogg, that should be out late April or early May, and Im also developing a couple of scripts, and looking at a couple of scripts that have been offered to me too.
Do you have ambitions to write or direct?
Definitely want to do everything thats possible. I want to write, direct, produce, but in steps. I want to take steps- I dont want to just jump in because I sold a lot of records and just feel like I can jump into the movie world. Naw- I want to learn the movie world like I learned the music world.
Captain Mack, the pilot of NWA, the first black airline.
What do you do in the movie?
I fly the plane.
What have you been listening to lately thats impressed you?
I like Kanye West. Hes sharp.
What do you think of street culture becoming mainstream?
I think mainstream is becoming street culture. I think its no longer us crossing over to them, its them crossing over to us. Because we havent changed, theyve changed. Theyve opened doors for us.
How did you get into the Girls Gone Wild gig?
I like girls and I like money.
How do you respond to critics who think its unethical?
First of all, what are they doing watching it?
Youve won awards for music in adult films, right ?
Yeah, I won a couple of Adult Video Awards. Its appreciation. Thats a craft, thats art- thats filmmaking also, its just for a different audience, and to win an award my first time acting made me feel good, and let me know I could do whatever I want to do.
Do you feel that you intimidate people?
I think I used to. I dont think I do anymore because people are starting to see me smile more, and see more and more appearances, to where its not just rap. When I was just Snoop Dogg the rapper, everybody was frightened because they didnt know what to expect. Now I have so many characters Ive played and so much range in me, Im approachable.
What was it like working with director Todd Phillips again?
Well, on Old School I was not an actor- I was Snoop Dogg, so I came to the set with a whole different vibe, and a different crew of people. And on Starsky & Hutch, I was more of an actor. I wasnt Snoop Dogg, the rapper.
Whats your relationship with Phillips like?
Oh, we real cool. Thats my main man, you know. Im just honored to be a part of this picture he decided to do, and I know that were going to work together again in the future. Hopefully this is the beginning of a long haul.
Is there any movie performer in particular youd like to work with?
I want to work with Halle Berry. I want to work with her on the real tip, on a real movie. Some live action, you dig? Hopefully my acting skills are raised to he level of hers. She could be a love interest some Bonnie & Clyde shit.
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