The gritty LA cop drama 'Street Kings' stars Keanu Reeves and Forest Whitaker as police officers caught up in violence and corruption in Los Angeles. The film also stars actor/rapper Common and actor/comedian Cedric The Entertainer who both bring a sense of hard realism to the film.
Grammy award-winner Common plays Coates, a thuggish, dark character involved in serious crime, while Cedric portrays a hustler who finds himself unwittingly used as a pawn between the police and his own community.
Q: Is this film a realistic image of LA?
Common: “I believe it is a realistic image of that portion of LA. LA is a diverse place, like a country. It has sunshine and mountains and water and beaches and Hollywood and South Central and gangs and drugs and violence. In South Central though, you also have churches and communities and good things so neighborhoods are diverse. Politics and corrupt police and corporations exist everywhere.”
Q: Cedric, how do you view your character?
Cedric: “My character Scribble is a low level, street hustler criminal. Basically I am being used in this movie. I am a pawn between the good guys to connect them with the bad guys. I know everybody. I am a guy who is just trying to find out how to make a buck. Scribble is being used by both parties and end up being in the middle when it all goes bad. There are no safe areas and nobody is safe.”
Q: Was there a lot of specific firearms training for the role?
Common: “We did have some sessions of gun training. We learned to shoot from a police perspective too. We had police officers training us. I learned how to shoot with a rifle and sub machine gun because in other films, I had just used handguns. I learned a lot in terms of technique. “
Cedric The Entertainer’s extraordinary career includes television, live performances and films. His many movie roles include: “Madagascar,” “Intolerable Cruelty,” “Be Cool,” “Talk To Me,” “The Honeymooners,” “Barbershop 2,” Big Momma’s House,” “Charlotte’s Web” and “Ice Age.” His charitable foundation is devoted to working with inner city youth and families in his hometown of St. Louis, Missouri.
Common made his screen debut in “Dave Chapelle’s Block Party” in 2006. Last year he starred in “Smokin’ Aces” and “American Gangster.” He also starred in “Wanted” opposite Morgan Freeman and Angelina Jolie. He produced BE for rap music star Kanye West, which was nominated for four Grammy awards. He has also written several children’s books. Common’s charitable foundation helps to fight poverty and uses hip-hop to advocate for justice, education and increased health awareness.
“Street Kings” opens April 16 in theaters from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.
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