Film: INTERVIEW: OUTKAST'S ANDRE BENJAMIN: KAST IN A NEW ROLE; OUTKAST'S ANDRE BENJAMIN ON HIS TWO NEW FILM RELEASES

The Mirror (London, England), September 23, 2005 | Go to article overview

Film: INTERVIEW: OUTKAST'S ANDRE BENJAMIN: KAST IN A NEW ROLE; OUTKAST'S ANDRE BENJAMIN ON HIS TWO NEW FILM RELEASES


Byline: By DAVID EDWARDS

As one half of the rap group OutKast, he's sold tens of millions of records and racked up a string of hits with songs such as Miss Jackson and Hey Ya! Now Andre Benjamin - otherwise known as Andre 3000 - is heading for movie stardom in an edgy new crime flick, Four Brothers. Also starring Mark Wahlberg, it tells the story of a group of adopted brothers who uncover a sinister conspiracy while investigating the murder of their foster mother.

Here, Andre, 30 - who recently starred alongside John Travolta in Be Cool - explains why Prince Charles is a fashion icon, why he's put his career ahead of sex and why the Isle Of Man may well be the strangest place he's ever visited.

Four Brothers is quite a departure after your last movie, Be Cool. Was it a conscious decision to do something different? It was a smart business move because before, people have only seen me as the guy from OutKast or Be Cool, which was a comic role. It was kind of hard for me to get a dramatic role. I like the movie because it's an urban Western, a throwback to '70s revenge flicks. I've seen damn near every film by the director John Singleton and it was most definitely a plus to be working with him at this stage in my career.

You're also in Guy Ritchie's latest film, Revolver, playing a loan shark. I'm a big fan of his. I thought Lock, Stock... and Snatch were both great and it was a good experience making the film, although quite strange because we shot half in London and the other half on the Isle Of Man. The crew were warning me about the island, saying there was nothing to do and that it was really cold. They were right. It was as cold as hell, but really beautiful with rolling grass and lots of sheep.

It was strange the way people responded to me because there are maybe five or six black people on the island. It wasn't a racist thing, but it was like I was a unicorn - people would look at me with awe. I remember walking on the promenade and having people stare at me like, 'My God'.

And was there anything to do? Not really, but I was there to work. In my spare time I'd shop on iTunes and I also started to write a screenplay. Apart from that, I went to a grocery store and had lots of walks on the promenade.

What's the screenplay about? It actually starts off with me walking on the promenade, but I've only written a couple of pages so I'm not sure what it will be. It might be set on the Isle Of Man though!

Did you get to meet Guy's wife, Madonna? Oh yeah. It was really nerve-wracking, but she was real cool. People have said we're collaborating, but that's not strictly true. I know she's working on a new album and there's always this thing where you can submit songs if you think they are Madonna-like, but we'll see.

I read somewhere that you cite Prince Charles as a major fashion influence. Is that true? I'm most definitely a fan of his tweed coat [laughs]. …

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