Monday, June 9, 2008

Mike Epps: The Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins Interview

with Kam Williams

Headline: Epps on Easy

Mike Epps was born in Indianapolis, Indiana on November 18, 1970, but raised in Crenshaw along with nine siblings by his single mom. Every summer, she would sent the kids back to Gary to live with their grandparents. Mike was the class clown in school which is where, at an early age, he developed the ability to make people laugh.
As a teenager, he entered an amateur standup contest in Indiana and immediately caught the showbiz bug. Honing his craft on the nightclub circuit, he ended up in New York City by the age of 21. In 1995, he first found fame when he was invited to appear on HBO’s Def Comedy Jam.
He made his big screen debut a couple of years later in Strays with Vin Diesel, although Mike’s breakout performance would come in his second film, Next Friday, where he co-starred opposite Ice Cube. The colorful comic has been a staple in urban-oriented features ever since, making such movies as The Honeymooners, All About the Benjamins, Bait, Dr. Dolittle 2, Roll Bounce, Something New, Talk to Me, The Fighting Temptations, Malibu’s Most Wanted and Resident Evil 1 and 2.
As for his private life, Mike married Michelle McCain in 2006, though he has recently become the subject of tabloid speculation after being slapped with a paternity by an unnamed woman who claims he fathered the child she gave birth to last December. Fortunately, in these days of DNA, it won’t belong before the truth comes out and establishes that either she’s a liar or he’s a daddy.
Here, he talks about his latest flick, Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins, which will be released on DVD on June 17th, an ensemble comedy in which he plays Martin Lawrence’s conniving cousin, Reggie.

KW: Hi, Mike, thanks for the time.
ME: All right.
KW: What interested you in playing Reggie?
ME: It was a familiar character. I thought it was a character I really, really could do something with. Sometimes, you read a script and you don’t know what you can do with it. You read it, and you be like… You know what I mean?
KW: Yep. So, what was it like working with Martin Lawrence?
ME: It was great. Martin is always professional and fun to work with, and understanding when it comes to making a film. So, it was cool.
KW: Besides Martin, the cast incuded Mo’Nique and Cedric the Entertainer.
Was it hard to carve out your own space to be funny, given that there were so many comedians on the set?
ME: Not really. Everybody was experienced, knew what they were doing and knew what they wanted. That’s all that really mattered. We’d all been there before, so everybody was professional. We all knew what it was.
KW: How did you like being directed by Malcolm Lee? Were you familiar with his work?
ME: I already did a movie with Malcolm, Roll Bounce. That’s what kinda helped me get this role.
KW: How was it filming on location in rural Louisiana?
ME: It was cool. You know, when you film in an area like that, and you don’t know anybody, there’s really not a lot to do, but we made the best of it. You become like a close-knit family.
KW: What message should people expect to get from Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins?
ME: Family values. It’s about having fun, not forgetting where you come from, and all that stuff.
KW: What do you have coming up on the horizon?
ME: I have a small role in this new movie Hancock, with Will Smith. And I did a TV show that’s coming out on Comedy Central.
KW: What’s that going to be called?
ME: The Mike Epps Show.
KW: Congratulations! So, you’re getting your own variety comedy show?
ME: Yep.
KW: Wow, that’s great. When’s that premiering?
ME: October.
KW: Bookworm Troy Johnson told me to ask you, what was the last book you read?
ME: The 48 Laws of Power.
KW: The Columbus Short question: Are you happy?
ME: Sometimes.
KW: How do you want to be remembered?
ME: I want to be remembered as a funny, loving guy.
KW: Is there any question you always wish someone would ask you, but nobody does.
ME: No.
KW: Okay Mike, thanks for the interview.
ME: Thank you.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dont be selective kem williams, this is black-sploytation! 'Rosco Jemkins?" come on..Oh thats right you got an interview with one of the actors so you gotta be bias. What a jerk you are...