Ice Cube feels like he got the best of both worlds – as actor and executive producer — with TBS’s June 2-debuting series spinoff of his hit “Are We There Yet?” big screen comedies. He tells us that Revolution Studios chieftain Joe Roth “wanted to do a third movie, but I really didn’t want to do that, artistically. Then he said, ‘Let’s take it to TV.’”
When “Everybody Hates Chris’” Terry Crews and “Half & Half’s” Essence Atkins started talking about taking over his and Nia Long’s roles as Nick and Suzanne from the movies, “I got really interested,” says Cube.
Although he isn’t starring in “Are We There Yet?” Cube makes it clear his character is more than a fleeting visitor. “I pop in every now and then like a hurricane. I make my presence known. I play Suzanne’s brother. He’s overprotective. He saw her get hurt once, and he’s not going to let Nick or any man do it again. Him and Nick don’t’ see eye to eye. There’s conflict there. It’s a good story,” says the multi-talent, whose character is a SWAT team member.
“It was kind of cool to be able to do a sitcom and not just have a little cameo, but a role with some real meat on it, that’s different from what people have seen me do,” adds Cube. He tells us he worked in an overseer capacity behind the scenes, while others “did the heavy lifting.”
MEANWHILE: With the first 10 “Are We There Yet?” episodes in the can, and the “Straight Outta L.A.” ESPN movie documentary he directed just launched earlier this week, Cube has a full summer ahead, including a 22-date tour with Limp Bizkit before beginning starring stints with Woody Harrelson in the big screen drama, “Rampart” late in the season.
Rapping Ice Cube and rocking Limp Bizkit don’t make for the first combination that would come to a lot of music fans’ minds – but the former N.W.A. lead reminds that his relationship with Bizkit frontman Fred Durst and the band goes way back. “We went out together years ago on the Family Values tour with Korn. And Fred directed me in a movie I did, ‘The Longshots.’ He did a great job. He’s a great director,” says Cube. “Before he did the movie, I said, ‘You still in rock and roll, man?’ And he said, ‘No, I’m going to be a director.’ Then I hear he’s setting tour dates,” he notes with a laugh.
That’s a man of many hats after his own heart.