Monday, September 20, 2021

The Film Strip: Common Talks ‘Run All Night’ and Future (Watch)

EUR BONUS COVERAGE – Scroll down to watch Marie Moore’s exclusive video interview with Common

Common at Ritz Carlton in New York. (Brad Balfour photo)
Common at Ritz Carlton in New York. (Brad Balfour photo)

*Common, as you have never seen him before, goes toe to toe with action star Liam Neeson in “Run All Night.”

The rapper/actor recently sat down with EURweb associate Marie Moore at the Ritz Carlton hotel overlooking Central Park West in New York and discussed the film and his future.

It is almost impossible to imagine this film without your performance in it. Obviously, you have been a man on a mission?

Yes, since elementary school I’ve had a love for acting. I loved film and theater; the way they made me feel. Some years into my music career I was like, ‘I need something else.’ I started taking acting classes and the feeling was, ‘this is it!’ I loved acting and wanted to be an actor. Acting gives you another perspective on life and I love the fact it brings a certain freedom not expressed in hip hop. In acting you have to express every spectrum of emotion and you can’t be too cool about it.

Was working with Liam part of the learning process?

Yes, I also learned from him, too. He was telling me different things and showing me different tricks and I was like, ‘Wow, this is really good. I’m learning from the best.’ I can’t give away the tricks, though [Laughs]. This is one of the greatest performers and action actors we’ve got and he’s a legend. He knows exactly what to do; he knows how to do it well, and with excellence.

That’s why when we watch his movies, you appreciate what he’s doing. You appreciate the fighting. Some of the action movies that you see, are primarily fighting scenes. The one great thing about ‘Run All Night,’ is you get the fights, you get the action, you get some emotion, but you really get a story.  You get a good film. When they yelled ‘cut,’ we would talk about theater and all types of stuff. We really had fun.

The physicality of this film is really intense. How was the training?

The training we did was intense. It was like real fight training. You’re dealing with some of the best because Liam’s team and the stunt coordinator are the best. I had to be super sharp, but I was looking forward to it because I was like, ‘I get to be in a movie with Liam Neeson.’ We went man to man, toe to toe. He’s a big dude and has gravitas.  It was a lot of fun but  it was a lot of work.

Besides playing the insidious character, Price, what else about ‘Run all Night’ appealed to you? 

One thing I really love about ‘Run All Night,’ is that you feel like New York is a character. You feel New York, the grittier part of New York, and the rawness of New York. It adds to the story. Sometimes when you see movies and it’s supposed to be New York and they shoot it in Toronto or somewhere else, you don’t really get the true feeling of New York. You really feel the truth here. Everything feels authentic. Chasing people and going through the buildings, turning the lights off , and when we were in the projects, it felt real authentic. There are bonafide relationships between the father and son, and these best friends that now have to go at each other. Even Price [Common] with his robotic style, he still feels authentic, you know?

Common, as the terrifying Price, tampering with the lights in Run All Night.
Common, as the terrifying Price, tampering with the lights in Run All Night.

Tell us about this terrifying character, Price, that you play, especially since it’s totally different from your role in ‘Selma’?

For me, that’s the joy of acting. You get to go and do different characters. You might play a pastor at one point that’s conflicted, and you may play a science teacher. You may play this dude Price that’s like a relentless assassin and is a super villain. Then you get to play James Bevel, a civil rights leader. That’s the joy of acting; and how I go there is I work as I continue to study and grow. We all have dark and light in us. We didn’t want the stock villain. We didn’t want the stereotypical killer. This guy’s a high-tech assassin. He’s wearing those glasses, and his trench coat, and a little sweater. He Looked kind of preppy, almost nerdy in a way, which is cool. I love that about the character. But, then inside of him is the mind of somebody who’s willing to murder many people and take joy in it.

Can you talk about where you stand now with your music?

I’m really enthused to write music now. I feel freer and more powerful than I ever have as far as writing music. With that being said, some of my inspirations are to write music that’s obviously going to move the world and also write music that may be accompanied by other things like a film project.

This has been a banner year for you, ‘Selma,’ this exciting movie, an Oscar and it’s early March. Does it get any better? 

Yeah, I feel like it can get better. I mean, first of all I’m super grateful for winning an Academy award and Golden Globe, be able to perform at those places and be a part of ‘Selma.’ Now I feel like it gets better by going to do better work. I’m going to keep getting better as an actor. Get better as an artist. Aligning myself with films that that are at a high level, or television shows that are at that high level, then going out and garnering more work.

What’s next?

Well, there are some new film projects I’m looking on right now and will be doing soon. Also, there’s a television project that I’m producing that is a great lead character for me. I can’t really discuss any of them until we lock them in, but it’s feeling good. Got some good opportunities out there, so I’m enthused.

“Run All Night,” directed by Jaume Collet-Salserra, also stars Ed Harris, Joel Kinnaman, Genesis Rodriquez, Vincent D’Onofrio, Boyd Holbrook, and Aubrey Omari Joseph. “Run All Night” opens March 13.

EUR BONUS COVERAGE – Watch Marie Moore’s exclusive video interview with Common:

Marie Moore reports on film and TV from her New York City base. Contact her at [email protected].

Marie Moore
Veteran syndicated journalist who covers film and television.



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