Tyrese and Ludacris Talk Cars, Music and ‘Fast And Furious’
While the relatively painless transition from musician to actor has become the norm for some of hip-hop and r&b's biggest stars in recent years, Fast & Furious 6 stars Tyrese and Ludacris have proven that some musicians-turned-actors actually have some impressive chops to show off.
After finding notable success as rappers and singers, both Luda and Ty have carved out viable niches for themselves in Hollywood: Tyrese by embracing the action genre through appearances in films by John Singleton and Michael Bay, and Luda pursuing a more experimental route by working on everything from rom-com New Year's Eve to interpersonal drama Crash.
With both guys finding so much work on the silver screen, their careers were bound to intersect at some point, and on 2003's 2 Fast 2 Furious - a sequel to the original The Fast and the Furious - they did. Since then, the Fast and Furious franchise has become a staple of American pop culture, and is currently on its sixth installment, set to hit theaters on Friday, May 24. You can check out the trailer above.
While on a press run through Europe, Luda and Ty hopped on a private press Google+ Hangout to discuss the new film, how being involved with the franchise has turned them into car nuts, and what new music they're working on.
On returning to the Fast franchise:
Ludacris: Man, it feels great to be back. Especially being a black man and not getting killed off.
Tyrese: Come on, black man ain't getting killed! We don't have to practice the "death face." No acting coach for that.
Ludacris: [Laughs] I'm grateful, man. I'm blessed. I feel good about being a part of the franchise, and we'll see where it goes.
On the legacy of the franchise, compared to another wildy-successful 6-part series, Star Wars:
Ludacris: We don't really compare ourselves. I mean, we're not in competition, but we set goals.
Tyrese: We set out to be the most successful franchise in history. Better than Star Wars. We're on our way, man. You know, nothing can… Star Wars is historic, but you know when you try to compare the two, you can't really do that. However, we set out to be the most successful franchise.
On gaining an appreciation for cars through being a part of the Fast and Furious franchise:
Ludacris: I actually purchased two cars from the Fast and Furious franchise. There was this Louis Vuitton-painted Dodge Ram in 2 Fast, 2 Furious.
Tyrese: Which was ghetto as hell.
Ludacris: Yes it was. This is true.
Tyrese: To be honest, there's an unspoken responsibility that you feel to drive fly cars because you don't want to be seen in something extra corny when you're associated with this franchise.
On the best drivers on set:
Ludacris: I'm probably one of the best drivers because I'm fearless. But I'm going to be real with you, I think Paul Walker is probably the best driver, for real. He has a crazy stable of cars.
Tyrese: Cars have been his passion for a really long time.
Ludacris: He's definitely the most authentic car dude of all of us. He has people that work for him that sit on the internet all day and try and track down certain cars so that he can say that he owns them all.
On some of the film's wildest action sequences:
Ludacris: I didn't really get much action because, of course, I'm the brains and the computer geek.
Tyrese: Action-wise, I think one of the most challenging scenes was probably the big tank sequence. The reason it was challenging for me is because when he explained it it made no damn sense. But, when you see it all put together it was just crazy that Justin Lin had the foresight to understand the beginning, middle and end of what that scene would be.
On where they'd like the next F and F to be set:
Ludacris: Man, I would love to go to Abu Dhabi or Dubai. We all know it's a lot of money out there so they got a lot of crazy cars. I'm thinking that would be good.
Tyerese: I'm staying at a hotel right now and there's like a sheikh that's staying there, and this dude's got a Maybach, a Bugatti and a Bentley Arnage in front of the dang hotel. It's crazy. So, we could go out there and they'll just open up their whole car collection to us. Even if we wrecked them, they wouldn't care.
On new music:
Ludacris: I'm dropping a mixtape on the same day the movie comes out. So, May 24. And then my album Ludaversal will be out sometime around September. So, yeah man, I feel great.
Tyrese: I think the music thing that I'm doing real right now and we're on our way to a number one is TGT - which stands for Tyrese, Ginuwine, and Tank. The first single is called "Sex Never Felt Better" and we just shot the video for that. Shout out to Atlantic Records for putting the whole building behind the group TGT. We've got a 32-city tour coming up, too.