Tag Archives: Ice Cube

Ice Cube Glad to Swap Family Fare for Edgy ‘Rampart’ Drama

Ice Cube

Ice Cube is eagerly anticipating unsheathing his edge as an actor later this summer, when he goes before the cameras with Woody Harrelson and Ben Foster in “Rampart” – Oren Moverman’s adaptation of James Ellroy’s novel about L.A.P.D. corruption in the early ‘90s.

“I’ve been looking for these kinds of roles,” says the multi-talented rap star, producer, director, writer and cuddly “Are We There Yet” movie lead.  “I’ve been doing comedies and family kind of deals lately, and I’ve been looking for dramas.  As an actor, I’m really looking forward to being part of a heavy story.”

Heavy it will be.  What makes it all the more interesting is the fact Cube will be playing a homicide detective who is on the trail of a dirty cop (Harrelson).  It’s an ironic turn for a guy who rose to fame with gangsta rap pioneers N.W.A. and their “Straight Outta Compton” first album that contained such cuts as “F— tha Police.”

“The Rampart division was tough and grimy too.  This is stuff we’ve been growing up with since the 80s, my brother since the 70s – what we’ve been seeing for decades.  We know it’s there.  It’s like a pimple,” he tells us.  “Some of these guys were vets straight off the battlefield and into the police department.  That’s the caliber.  There’s a wolf mentality in a lot of ways.”

Faces to Watch this Summer Season

Betty White

It’s almost June, and you know what that means! Something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue. We’re talking, of course, about the summer TV season and faces to watch this time of year, when things are looser and quirkier than during the school year. Here are 10 faces to watch:

Betty White. At 88, our favorite octogenarian Superstar is back in the series game with TV Land’s ‘Hot in Cleveland’ (premiering June 16) as the caretaker of a rental property inhabited by Jane Leeves, Valerie Bertinelli and Wendie Malick. Her Elka Ostrovsky character is full of vinegar and naughtiness.

Virginia Madsen. The ‘Sideways’ Oscar nominee brings her singular presence to ABC June 20 with ‘Scoundrels,’ playing the mother of a crime family — that is, her husband (David James Elliott) and kids are criminals. When hubby gets sent up the river, she decides it’s time to go straight, and lots of luck. Do as I say, kids, not as I do.

Rhona Mitra. What could really liven up a neighborhood? How about a sexy vampire? ‘The Gates’ has already been widely accused of brazenly trying to capitalize on the ‘Twilight’ craze, so we won’t bother. Other supernatural creatures are on the prowl in this community — a witch, a high school jock/werewolf — with Frank Grillo of ‘Prison Break’ as the new cop in town.

Jason Lee. All right, we have the something old, something new and something borrowed. Let’s call Lee’s ‘Memphis Beat’ something blues, since the new TNT cop drama (June 22 premiere) is drenched in bluesy sensibility, including Lee’s detective character’s proclivity for performing — his favorite way to let off steam after a hard day’s work chasing bad guys: Making a clean-shaven break from his ‘My Name is Earl’ title character as he trades comedy for drama, Lee already has critics excited.

Terry Crews and Ice Cube. With Crews (‘Everybody Hates Chris’) taking over Ice Cube’s role from the big-screen ‘Are We There Yet?’ in the small-screen version that debuts on TNT June 2 — Ice Cube is free to launch a new character of a SWAT team member/disapproving brother-in-law.

Beth Ostrosky Stern. If you like irony, then you’re bound to find something amusing in the fact that sleaze meister Howard Stern’s gorgeous wife is making her series debut Monday (5/31) on a reality show with a premise about inner beauty and moral rectitude being more important than outward appearance. Well, as important, maybe. It’s the second season of the Tyra Banks and Ashton Kutcher-produced ‘True Beauty’

Colin Hanks and Bradley Whitford. These two have fun chemistry as a two-generation cop team on ‘Good Guys,’ the Fox show that debuts June 7.

Piper Perabo. The ‘Coyote Ugly’ and ‘Cheaper by the Dozen’ actress turns super spy in USA Network’s CIA dramedy ‘Covert Affairs.’ The cable channel has called the show, debuting in July, its most ambitious ever.

Plus…NBC has ‘Persons Unknown’ debuting June 7, with Alan Ruck of ‘Spin City’ and a group of actors unknown as a collection of kidnapped strangers trapped in a nightmare-worthy mansion, being watched by hidden forces via constantly-present cameras. It’s been compared to the vintage ‘The Prisoner.’

And…When it comes to faces to watch….ABC gets the prize for unique, OMG storylines coming up this summer, and wouldn’t you know? We’re talking about a non-fiction show: Among other things, ‘Boston Med’ will take us through the saga of a full facial transplant, including looks at the donor (a Hollywood marketing genius) and the recipient, a burned Vietnam veteran. The eight-part series debuts June 24.

Ice Cube Making His Presence Known on TBS’s New ‘Are We There Yet?’ Series

Ice Cube

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.

Claws Out! Cavallari, Patridge Stir ‘The Hills’ Pot

Kristin Cavallari, Photo MTV

Kristin Cavallari, Photo MTV

If you thought “The Hills” was full of drama before, Kristin Cavallari tells us you ain’t see nothing yet!

The former “Laguna Beach” star has taken the place of Lauren Conrad on the MTV show, which returns for a new season Sept. 28, and she’s already stirring the pot.  “I didn’t really watch ‘The Hills’ before.  When I decided to do it, I watched like three episodes.  I just thought it needed a little bit more action.  It was kind of boring before,” claims Cavallari, who is on the bad side of cast member “I’m just trying to make it more fun and exciting.”

When asked how the cast felt about her coming on the show, Cavallari responds, “I think it took a little getting used to for everybody.  It obviously created a little bit of drama in the beginning and now I think everybody is pretty cool with it, except for maybe Audrina,” she notes.

“We don’t even see each other so it’s not like we’re fighting.  I’m indifferent when it comes to Audrina.”

So what could possibly make two girls break out the claws?  “Because of Justin Bobby.  Because of a boy,” she adds of the supposed “love triangle” with Cavallari and Audrina’s ex-boyfriend Justin Bobby.  “I can’t really tell what’s happening there.  People will have to wait and see.”

Two people she is excited to share the screen with are the show’s resident villains Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt, who got married at the end of last season.  “I get along with them great.  I actually introduced them four years ago,” she reminds.  In fact, Cavallari has no problem with their shady reputation.  “I think it’s funny.  The thing is, you can’t really knock them because everyone is still talking about them so obviously they’re doing something right.  They love attention.  That’s what they want – they want people to talk about them.”

MONEY AND MORE MONEY:  Self-made billionaire Daymond John reports, “I’ve been very happy with the choices I’ve made so far” – as one of the title investors on ABC’s “Shark Tank.”  He points out, for example, that Tod Wilson’s sweet potato pie business from the first episode recently sold “4,000 pies in eight minutes on QVC — and it’s the worst possible time of the year for him.  His website used to get 90 hits a day.  Now it’s getting 6,500.  And business in his store has increased 1,000 per cent.  It shows the show is viable.”

Yes, and the fact that “Shark Tank” came back from almost tanking with a stunning 38 per cent ratings jump from its premiere to its second installment shows that, too.

“I’m a skeptical person, but the history of ‘Shark Tank’ and [its Japanese sister show] ‘Dragon’s Den’ speaks for itself.  This is 120 per cent authentic.  We are real, and this is purely our money.  I think that’s why the show started to pick up,” he stresses of the program, now airing on Monday nights, in which inventors, small business owners and other wanna-bes try to convince the panel of real-life entrepreneurs to give them funding.  “We don’t know anything about the contestants before we come in.  We’ll be told, ‘This is Catherine and John from Ohio and they have an interesting product.’  That’s all.  Some of these negotiations take an hour and a half,” he says.

John may be considered tough and even “snake like,” as one of his fellow entrepreneurs on the show put it, since he has a way of undercutting them at the last minute.  But he does have a soft spot for the contestants as well.  “I would have failed at that stage,” says the man who started his globally successful FUBU clothing line by sewing tie top hats himself on his mom’s sewing machine.  “Some I identify with because of their struggle, because they’re not prepared.  Then there are the ones who come so prepared I think, ‘My God, I don’t think I even know as much stuff as they know now.’”

THE MOTHERLY TYPE: With Warner Bros.’ “The Lottery Ticket” set for an October production start, they’re casting subsidiary roles in the feature that stars Ice Cube and Bow Wow – including that of Bow Wow’s character’s grandma, described as a matronly, “sanctified African American woman in her fifties.”  There are also an assortment of vicious, hardened criminal types to be cast in the story of an aspiring designer in the ghetto who finds he’s got the winning $370 million Lottery ticket – but has to wait through a weekend for the lottery office to open before he can be declared the winner.  Things get dramatic after word gets out about his ticket.

They’re also working on casting the mother – a Mercedes Ruehl or Lorraine Bracco type is what they have in mind — and grandmother of Barry Minkow – for the feature film that’s in the making about the convicted ZZZZ Best con man-turned-pastor who assists the FBI in anti-fraud cases.

With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster