Common personifies art. He understands human struggle, and as such, is a masterful musician. Entertaining audiences with lyrics that grip the soul and pack a punch, Common can be interpreted as a musician-turned-actor, philanthropist, or poet who keeps enticing us with more sustainable roles.
You can experience how this man redefines love in the heartfelt comedy titled, Just Wright about Leslie Wright (“Queen Latifah”) who lands an opportunity to work with her NBA All-Star crush, Scott McKnight (“Common”). Both get caught up in a love triangle involving Leslie’s friend Morgan who is played by actress, Paula Patton. There is an interesting twist to the story as Scott decides whom to choose: Leslie or Morgan?
Just Wright features cameos by Dwayne Wade (Miami Heat), Dwight Howard (Orlando Magic), Lebron James (Cleveland Cavaliers), Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers), musician John Legend, and others.
*The full-length film which includes bonus features, one-on-one interviews with stars, gag reels, and much more, will be released on DVD – September 14.
Madame Noire: What was it like filming with Queen Latifah (out of all people)? I’m sure it was fun working with her?
Common: Queen Latifah is a dynamic woman and a person you can learn from and laugh with. She’s a warm spirit you can be inspired by. The things she has accomplished, (coming from the hip-hop background) are an inspiration to us all. Literally, we came from similar backgrounds. I love women who know what they want in life and are able to be comfortable with whom they are. That’s who she is.
Madame Noire: Can you talk about the training involved to become this NBA basketball player? Was it rigorous for you?
Common: Yeah! The training was tough because the conditions of an NBA basketball player or pro athlete are above what any of us imagine. There was a lot of conditioning, but basketball is something I’ve always wanted to do. I put in extra work going swimming and cardio that I never done because I was [never before] trying to be that fit or slimmed down.
Madame Noire: This film was the first love/comedy movie you’ve played in. Was it not?
Common: Yes! That’s a real definition of what it is! A love/comedy. I haven’t heard anyone use a word like that before. (laughs).
Madame Noire: Do you enjoy the action films better? Like the roles you played in “Wanted” or “Smokin Aces?”
Common: I love the drama/action more than but there’s fun in the comedies also. I love romance but the ones that make you want to cry – you can’t be a superhero! You saw the depth between me and Jeremy Piven’s character and [you saw] romance in a street way from Alicia Keys’ character. So I think I’d like a more well-rounded character I can play.
Madame Noire: So, we will see you in other love comedies?
Common: I want to have a diverse acting career that is long and fulfilling. Eventually, I would love to be one of the greatest actors of our time! That’s what Im working towards!
Madame Noire: So is this a hint that you may give up the music career?
Common: No, actually I have a new album coming out in May called “The Believer” on which I’m working with Kanye West, No I.D. and other producers. I still love making music, but it’s just that acting has become a main focus right now. I just shot a television pilot for AMC called “Hell on Wheels” about the transcontinental railroad. I play a freed slave of mixed race. This television show is so incredible because it’s dealing with issues we find relevant today. As much as it takes place in 1865, it’s still contemporary. Im really excited about it!
Madame Noire: Wow! So what’s next for you?
Common: I have a program now running on the Southside of Chicago dealing with teenagers between the ages of 12 to 17. It’s located at this place called the Lighthouse. These programs develop the youth by helping them to become better leaders or educating them in a holistic way. We teach them about health and creative things – there is a room in the lighthouse where we allow them to talk about their problems with adults. These kids can really express themselves through cooking or music. That’s my purpose in life!
Madame Noire: Your message has always centered on love and empowerment. Is there an intimate side to Common that we don’t know about?
Common: I have a lot of sides to me to talk about that are important to me. I like intimacy and affection. I’m a man who sometimes gets angry, pissed off. I do feel strong or sad at times. I have the qualities we all possess, but I try to express them more through positives than negatives because people need inspiration. When I put out a Common record, I want them to feel that life is better.
Madame Noire: You have this amorous way about you that’s appealing to women. Can you describe your ideal woman?
Common: My ideal woman is someone who’s strong, lady-like and has character… [someone that] can endure certain things and is independent in her own way but at the same time, likes to be a lady and spiritually-grounded. She likes to have fun and open to new things. I like passionate women who are passionate about what they do, passionate about showing love and affection, or passionate about relationships. Those are things I really like in a woman.
Madame Noire: So you love all shades and types of women?
Common: Throughout my life, I’ve only dated black women. I love black women but I can still appreciate the beauty in all women.
Madame Noire: Would you like to offer some last words to the fans? Those who have supported you through your career?
Common: To the fans – I would like to say that I’m grateful that people have watched me grow and allowed me to be who I am. Whether they were valued, felt good, or celebrated, I appreciate the thoughts and support. I want to contribute something to give light to the world.