Twenty-five years after he made his cinematic debut playing a cop in cult classic New Jack City, Ice-T is revealing little known facts about the making of the movie.
Depending on who you ask Ice-T is either a rapper or actor, “Cop Killer” or always playing a police officer on television. But back in 1991 he was one of the biggest names in rap, the face of Gangster rap and entering uncharted territory as he was playing Detective Sonny Appleton in New Jack City.
It was the first time since playing a breakdancer in Breakin in 1984 that Ice-T was appearing on the big screen. It was also the first time that he was actually starring in a movie being in multiple scenes and essentially being the most recognizable name in the credits.
The film’s other stars Wesley Snipes, Allen Payne and Chris Rock were all new actors. The film was also Mario Van Peebles’ directorial debut, so really, no one on set, with the exception of Judd Nelson, was an experienced actor.
Ice-T sat down with Okay Player recently and talked about some of the behind-the-scenes secrets of the movie ranging from how much he got paid to be in the movie to who was originally supposed to play G-Money.
On how he was approached to be in the movie:
“I was doing my Ice T thing, talking shit in the bathroom. “I said something like, ‘If you could take a microscope and find one molecule in my body that gave a f*ck, then they’d have a chance.’ Someone said, ‘Whoever said that needs to be in my movie,’ and Mario stepped out of the stall and here’s Ice T talking sh*t to people…That’s that Hollywood bullsh*t. People see you and say, ‘We should work.’ He could have found me. Just because he saw me at this party didn’t mean he had to say that. He could have just said hello and kept it moving. At the time, I was talking to some females, so I figured that was him trying to say he was making a movie in front of the girls. I know how guys operate. I’m like, ‘Yeah, whatever Mario.’ I introduced him to the females and he took my number…I was still kind of shocked. I got down there and they basically offered me the part to play Scotty in the movie, and you know, it was a cop. ‘Original Gangster’ was just about to come out because ‘New Jack Hustler’ ended up being on that album. I was in that mode and was like, ‘Damn man, do you really want to take a risk and be in a movie? It could ruin your career and right now it’s hot.’ I was on fire at that time, so I was nervous. Nobody had pulled off the acting shit correctly to me. Run [DMC] and them did Tougher Than Leather and they had Beat Street, Breakin’—stuff like that, but nobody was really a standout actor.”