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Common Interview -- Exclusive

Common Interview -- Exclusive

Common took some time out of his busy schedule to chat with about his narration work with Gatorade, what it was like shooting Wanted with Angelina Jolie and why he’s a pescatarian. Here’s what the 36-year-old actor/rapper had to say:

JJ: Are you Internet savvy? Which blogs do you read?

C: I definitely check my Think Common blog, Kanye West’s blog, and Hypebeast.

JJ: What are you working on in NY?

C: I’m here doing promotion for my new album, Universal Mind Control, which came out in December. We’ll be doing a lot of live performances and shooting some spots. I’m doing some stuff at All-Star weekend, and also I’ll be doing something with Ludacris in LA in February.

(Click inside to continue reading Common‘s interview…)

Common Interview — Exclusive

JJ: You also voiced some narration for Gatorade?

C: Yeah, I narrated these different scenarios that happened in football, these NFL moments that were really incredible that happened that I narrated for Gatorade. It’s gonna be displayed in the G-Lounge with a photo done by a great artist, SwankOne.

JJ: What was the most memorable G moment for you?

C: Probably the most memorable would be the one with Joe Montana driving it up and throwing it to John Taylor. I like a lot of those moments to be honest. I liked the Marcus Allen runback too. That was really hot.

JJ: What’s your character Barnes like in Terminator: Salvation?

C: Barnes is part of the resistance. He’s fighting to help save the world against the Terminators, and he’s really like a revolutionary human being and really learned a lot on the post-apocalyptic world.

JJ: Do you have any favorite on-set memories?

C: Man, just the first day when I got to do a scene with Christian Bale, and they just gave us the scene that day and it just naturally flowed. And it was just a lot of fun. I was just like, man, incredible. Actually the first day of shooting and my last day of shooting I worked with Christian Bale. The last day way we were sitting on this mountain that was very hot, and we were having to do a scene where we were getting at these Terminators. Trying to testing this machine out.

JJ: With such a professional cast, did anybody pull any pranks or do anything out of the ordinary?

C: Nah, people were having fun, but the only thing we did out of the ordinary was raced up the mountain to see who would win, and whoever won, won a pot of money. One of the crew members won, one of the tech guys.

JJ: What place did you finish in?

C: I couldn’t really race because my boots were too heavy. I wouldn’t have made it, I mean I would have made it, but it would really slow. You guys will see the boots that I’m wearing in the film.

JJ: What was it like filming with Angelina Jolie in Wanted?

C: Aw man, it was a lot of fun. She’s a wonderful human being, an incredible artist. Working with her, I just learned a lot. She was very giving as an actress. Just a lot of fun. Morgan Freeman, James McAvoy, some of the best experiences I’ve had.

JJ: Were you around when Angelina filmed her naked scene?

C: Nah, it was a closed set.

JJ: Your “Softwear” Microsoft clothing line, when is that coming out?

C: Sometime in the Spring. This line is really incredible. The T-shirts are based on the progression of Common, and the progression of Microsoft. It’s really kind of artsy and cool. I think cool crowds will really be able to get into it. I wear the t-shirts all the time. I love them and I got into it by working with Microsoft, and I did some work with Zune too.

JJ: How would you describe your progression as an artist?

C: I think my progression has been a lot evolution, I’ve come to look at things from a worldwide perspective. A friend of mine called me the other day and said, ‘Man I was listening to one of your old songs, “Resurrection”.’ He said, ‘You sounded so Chicago.’ I’m like ‘I’m always Chicago.’ But he said, ‘But you were only talking about Chicago things.’ I think that was cool at the beginning, but when you start seeing other parts of the world, and see new things, you keep evolving and growing, implementing how the world influences you and realizing you can have an influence on the world. So that’s how my career has evolved, I’ve become more global and see things from a global perspective.

JJ: Being in NY all the time, do you still eat at Dizzies in Park Slope?

C: Oh yea definitely. I get breakfast from there all the time. I eat a certain diet. I eat a lot of oatmeal. I eat veggie sausages and some good fruit.

JJ: Are you vegan?

C: No, I eat fish and dairy products.

JJ: So you’re a pescatarian?

C: That’s what they call it, but if you eat fish, you’re eating an animal.

JJ: Why’d you decide to give yourself dietary restrictions?

C: I just decided to be more aware of my health and well-being. I felt that beef and pork wasn’t good. I did my own tests and found that beef and pork weren’t really good for my system. So I’ve been a lot clearer by not eating those meats, and also chicken. Turkey was good, I like turkey, bacon and all that, but I just went vegan at one point. So when I decided to go back the other way, I just needed fish and I feel balanced with that. You’ve got to eat the right things. It’s not just about not eating meat. You’ve got to find out what your body needs, what’s healthy for you. What’s good for life.

JJ: How should people should get involved with the important issues this country is facing?

C: First, you have to find out what’s important to you, what you’re passionate about. And then you can find out in your community where you can help at. It may be as simple as being a good person and doing right by society. Finding a job and taking care of your family. That’s gonna help society. You may find some issues in your community, where it be homelessness or it could be child abuse, HIV. Whatever it may be that you’re passionate about. But it all starts with you. First and foremost, get on that path to correcting yourself, and then making sure you’re taking care of your home.

JJ: Have you aligned yourself with any particular organizations that people can get involved with?

C: Common Ground Foundation is my foundation that is based in Chicago, that encourages the youth toward entrepreneurship and self-love, and toward being a benefit to their community and to themselves. That’s the first foundation I’ve aligned myself with. And along with that I’ve done speaking engagements and different places and done benefits for other people’s foundations, like Alicia Key’s foundation, Keep a Child Alive.


Gatorade is creating cool, high-end G art “studio” that brings G to life via a graffiti/street art canvas landscape all within the Super Bowl media center. Gatorade is partnering with abstract artist SwankOne to bring to life the greatest G moments in Super Bowl history (Eli to Tyree, Montana to Taylor, etc.). These paintings will be produced in the media center and will be put up for auction on with all proceeds going to NFL Retired Players Fund. Common will provide signature audio narration to each piece created by artist SwankOne (think about how art galleries have audio buttons that tell you about the art). We’ll have that, but it will be Common with his own flavor. Select NFL players (Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Eli Manning, etc.) will also participate by taking part in the creation of the NFL Players painting – each participating player will contribute to the painting.

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Photos: Frazer Harrison/Getty
Posted to: Common

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