About Features Reviews Community Screenings Archives Studios Home
October 2008
ROCKNROLLA | An Interview with Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges

An Interview with Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges
by Wilson Morales

October 6, 2008

Since his critical acclaimed roles in ‘Crash’ and ‘Hustle and Flow’, as well as very dramatic performance on an episode of TV’s Law and Order: SVU, Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges has been surprising those who didn’t think he can be on the same par as theater trained actors. Not only can he do so, but he’s one of the few rappers who can still keep his day job and be successful at the same time. Coming up for Bridges is a supporting role in ‘RocknRolla’, an ensemble film that’s directed by Guy Ritchie, who helmed such cult classics as ‘Snatch’ and ‘Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels’.

When a Russian mobster orchestrates a crooked land deal, millions of dollars are up for grabs, and London’s entire criminal underworld wants in on the action. Everyone from a dangerous crime lord to a sexy accountant, a corrupt politician and down-on-their-luck petty thieves conspire, collude and collide with one another in an effort to get rich quick.

Bridge plays one of two Americans music executives. Jeremy Pivens is the other one. Also featured in the are Gerard Butler, Thandie Newton, Idris Elba, Tom Wilkinson, Gemma Arterton, Jamie Campbell Bower, and Mark Strong.

In speaking with blackfilm.com, Bridges talks his role in the film, working with Ritchie, Elba, and Pivens, and his upcoming album, ‘Theater of the Mind’.

What role do you play in the film?

Chris Bridges: I play the manager of a ‘Rocknrolla’ artist. I just was trying to choose a role that surprises people. Of course, the character has a background, but he’s a manager. Also, Jeremy Piven and I are the only Americans in the film and we didn’t have to learn any new accents. I thought I would have to do so when I signed on and I was looking forward to it, but that’s okay. I loved the movie. I think it takes you back to ‘Snatch’ and ‘Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels’ and how good those films were.

Did you audition for the role or did they come to you?

CB: Guy actually asked me to be in it. I didn’t have to audition for it. It’s an ensemble cast with Gerard Butler, Thandie Newton, and Idris Elba among the cast with me and Jeremy. I love being part of a great cast because I learned so much.

As you mentioned, you didn’t have to learn an accent. So, how was it for you and Jeremy to be the only Americans in the film?

CB: It was fun. It gave me a self perspective as far as acting is concerned. Took some time to understand the London slang, but I got that hang of it. It was interesting.

You’ve done ensemble films before, so what makes this film different from the ‘Crash’ and ‘Hustle and Flow’?

CB: I think Guy Ritchie knows everything he wants in the film and wants to do in it, to the smallest details. He actually knew how much blood splatter he wanted on the wall after the gun went off in one of the scenes. That’s just the standard of being a good director and he knew he always has to be on point. He said himself that the hard part was writing it and then it fairly becomes easier after that. I thought it was great working with him.

Since most of your scenes are with Jeremy, how was working with him?

CB: It was really cool. We hung out off the set to get to know each other well enough so that the chemistry on screen would be the same. I made a friend off-camera and on-camera just by working with him. He’s been in the game for over 20 years so working with him was great.

Did you get to hang out with the rest of the cast off the set as well?

CB: Yes. I got to hang out with Idris and Gerard. Very interesting characters I must say.

Did you and Idris talks about the music business since he’s an accomplished DJ?

CB: We did. He invited me to a spot where he was spinning and I went there and I was surprised. I never knew just how good he is.

How was shooting out in England?

CB: Really dark and gloomy, and at the same time you kind of grow and learn to love it. London is one of those melting pots where you have ethnicity in one place; so it’s inspiring and I think it’s beautiful.

Of the scenes you shot, which one did you enjoy the most?

CB: I think the scene where I’m introduced in the film is what I enjoyed. One of my favorite scenes in the film is the one where Idris and Gerard are being chased by two guys. The cinematography on that is just ridiculous as these two guys won’t die.

With this film, as well as ‘Max Payne’, and another album coming up, how do you balance it all?

CB: You don’t sleep. Actually, you take one thing at a time.

What should we expect from your latest album?

CB: With ‘Theater of the Mind’, every song is like a movie. It’s very theatrical. It’s a great concept album and I think people are going to love it. It’s like combining all my albums as far as how many different emotions are in it and putting all the storytelling in one.

“RocknRolla’ is also a dark comedy and while most of the cast are not comedians per se, do you think you have any funny bones in you?

CB: Absolutely. I’m waiting for that right role that will let me explore my comedic skills. I showed some signs when I did ‘Fred Claus’ but that was reminiscent of when I did a video where I put a big head on a small body. I’m definitely am waiting for the right part.

Will there be a soundtrack where you have a track on it?

CB: On this movie, no. I just kept to the acting. I did not get involved musically on the film.

For those who may not know, why goes by Chris Bridges for this film and not ‘Ludacris’ as most of the world know you by?

CB: Because as an actor, Chris Bridges is a businessman and things of that nature. Ludacris is a character within itself. I don’t want people to think that I’m playing Ludacris. That’s the whole point. As Chris, I get to play different characters, and Ludacris happens to be one of them.

In one of your upcoming films, ‘Game’, you will be working with Gerard Butler again. What’s your role in the film?

CB: Well, the film is produced by the guys who did ‘Crank’, so you can expect high energy in a futuristic action world. The premise of the film is that a lot of convicts try to shave time off their sentences by having a computer chip implanted into their brain and being played a video game by other human beings in a battle zone. That will be extremely interesting. I play more of a renaissance type of guy who sees what’s going on and tries to stop the madness. I also have ‘Max Payne’ coming out and that’s loosely based on a video game. That releases on October 17th. I’m working with another great cast with Mark Wahlberg, Beau Bridges, and Mila Kunis.

How was working on that film?

CB: It was great. I actually get to play an internal affairs agent and it was my first time being on the other side of the law. Mark is usually playing the dominant roles and since I’m the internal affairs guy investigating him, I’m the dominant one in my scenes with him.

Why should anyone go see ‘RocknRolla’?

CB: They should go see because it has the best of talent involved in what Guy Ritchie does, but I definitely feel it’s something that will go in my DVD collection as far as being one of those great movies and classics



Terms of Use | Privacy Policy