Apr 1, 2014

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Interview: Mike Epps

MikeEpps_1  Mike Epps

Pure Comedy

August 2004

By: Latisha  Simmons 

Actor/comedian Mike Epps is a man on a mission. The Indiana native gained attention with his role in Next Friday, and went on to display more hilarious antics in Friday After Next, All About the Benjamin’s, How High and The Fighting Temptations. So what’s next? In addition to giving his time to those less fortunate with “Assembly In Motion” the man of many laughs will continue to make power moves on the big screen with up-coming roles in Resident Evil: Apocalypse, The Honeymooners and Roll Bounce. He’s even planning a stand-up comedy special for 2005. So you think you know Mike Epps? He gives MahoganyGirl some phone time for a look into his crazy world.

Mike Epps: Latisha! Whatsup!
MahoganyGirl: Whatsup.

ME: Well, come on baby.
MG: [Laughs] How are you doing?

ME: I’m Good.
MG: You’re doing well right now. How do you feel about your career?

ME: You think I’m doing good?
MG: Yeah, you’re building a good career for yourself. You don’t think so?

ME: You see that? ‘Cause I don’t see none of this shit.
MG: [Laughs]

ME: [Laughs] Nah, I’m blessed. All praise is due to God. I’m proud of myself ’cause I’ve come through a lot.

MG: For those who don’t know, how did you get your start?
ME: I got my start running around crackin’ jokes. I was a class clown, neighborhood clown, and prison clown.

MG: You were in prison?
ME: Hell Yeah!! In Indiana.

MG: Why were you in prison?
ME: Selling drugs. I was a funny drug dealer.

MG: [Laughs] I didn’t know you did time man.
ME: See, it’s always the people you don’t think are criminals that are the criminals.

MG: [Laughs]…. I know you have a few films coming up – Resident Evil: Apocalypse and The Honeymooners. Can you talk about those projects?
ME: Yeah. Resident Evil is a sci-fi flick; I have a decent part in that. It was a chance to do something different ’cause people are used to seeing me in the Friday movies and all that so this took me out of my element. It’s was cool.

MG: How was it doing the Friday movies?
ME: I was just happy to be up in there. I went and bought my momma a washer and dryer and got my cousin out of jail. He was in there on some suspended license thing.

MG: [Laughs]… Will there be a 4th Friday?
ME: Its up to Cube. You know, it’s his franchise and it’s up to him.

MG: Alright, who’s in The Honeymooners with you?
ME: There ’s Cedric The Entertainer, Regina Hall from Scary Movie and Gabrielle Union.

MG: I heard you guys are shooting the movie in Ireland. Are you ready for Ireland?
ME: Shit, Is Ireland ready for me?

MG: [Laughs]
ME: I’ma be over there doing 44 bottles of beer on the wall and all that.

MG: Tell me about the program “Assembly in Motion”?
You recently spoke at the Los Angeles Juvenile Hall right?
ME: Yeah, Assembly in Motion is a thing I’m doing with Lelia Steinberg. She found 2Pac and Too Short and other rappers. She’s heavy in working in the juvenile system and we talked one day about my experiences in life and in prison, and she wanted me to come and talk to the kids. The kids responded to me more than any rappers, actors and celebrities that came to see them before. When I went to see them, I just went in and talked to them like regular people, cracked some jokes and then I told them what I’ve been through. So they can see where I came from and where I’m at now.

MG: What’s next for “Assembly in Motion”?
ME: We’re looking to take it nation wide and to TV.

MG: How important is giving back to you?
ME: It’s very important. I have my foundation in Indiana, The Mike Epps foundation. During the holidays we give out turkeys, toys and all that. I want to get more into starting arts programs and stuff like that, ’cause not every kid can go to the NBA. I want to have an art program that helps kids that want to become actors, writers, producers and all that. I focus on the inner city cause those are the kids that need the help.

MG: Will you ever return to stand-up comedy?
ME: Yeah, I’m in talks to maybe do a HBO type special next year.

MG: You know that Baby Powder shit from How High is classic?
ME: Baby Powder!! It’s classic huh? I might do a whole special on Baby Powder. It’ll be Powder just talking about different things and helping people wit their problems.

MG: [Laughs] What are you listening to right now?
ME: I like Kayne West. He’s breaking barriers in hip hop. Pac! I love Pac, I’ma Pac fan for life.

MG: Word
ME: Usher… The Roots. I like all that smooth shit.

MG: What’s your favorite movie?
ME: Of all time?

MG: Yeah.
ME: Good Fellas. I just love the speed of the movie. It’s not about the drugs and the killing. It’s just a funny movie.

MG: Yeah, I find myself dying laughing when Henry beats down ole boy across the street.
ME: [Laughs]

MG: I know it’s not suppose to be funny but damn that part cracks me up.
ME: [Laughs] Oh when he beats up the dude for messing wit his girl. You know why it’s funny to you? ‘Cause someone would really do that shit in real life. Dude didn’t know he was fucking wit the mob.

MG: [Laughs] So what’s next for Mike Epps as far as acting goes?
ME: I got a cameo in Dinner Party with Bernie Mack and Ashton Kutcher. And I wanna do a dramatic role one day.

MG: You ready to pull a Jim Carrey?
ME: Yeah, but I think my fans will let me know when its time.

MG: This was cool, Mike. Thanks for your time.
ME: Thank You.

MG: Sorry about accidentally hanging up on you earlier too.
ME: No problem. Just don’t let that shit happen again.

MG: [Laughs]

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