4 Questions With Common
The multifaceted entertainer wants to be "one of the greats" in the film world. Is he on his way?
C: I was honored, I was grateful. Anytime you have Danny Glover, Dennis Haysbert, Charles Dutton, Lonette McKee, Michael K. Williams, that's a great cast. Glover is legend. It wasn't really daunting. I have been studying acting for a long time. Even though I know I am a baby at it, I love the challenges and the opportunities to be able to learn from these guys and work with these guys and bring whatever I can bring to the table.
I don't think I am scared of any challenges artistically. When it comes to acting I just believe in myself. I know I have a long way to go and I have to grow and get better. But I want to be one of the greats, so I look forward to those opportunities to work with actors of their stature.
TR: Your daughter asked you why you are always taking on these gangster roles and if you were hoping to get away from it. But is that a compromise that you have to make when you see a great role come along, such as your part in Luv?
C: I look at the role more than anything. Just because somebody is in the gangster world doesn't mean they are not a human being. That's one reason I take on these roles.
I was told by a teacher of mine that in acting, you can heal people; you can inspire people through acting. So I'm hoping that when I take on these roles of killers, that somebody can see a human being sometime, can see a former convict wanting to do better in his life. They can relate to that and say that guy up there might have done wrong in his life, but I can see him wanting to do better. I feel for that person, that character, because I think he really wants to do better.
I think that's my duty and responsibility as an actor, to make whatever character I choose be a human being and have people relate to that human being. I look at the character and see what can I do with it. If it's one-dimensional, then I usually won't do it.
More interviews from the 2012 Sundance Film Festival:
Julie Walker is a New York-based freelance journalist. Follow her on Twitter.