November 25, 2014 Leave a comment
For anyone who can remember the 90’s, everyone probably remembers it a the era a bit different. And it has been a sort of unofficial goal here at Trainwreck’d Society to try and showcase as many different aspects about the 90’s entertainment world as possible. From Nickelodeon child stars to 90’s alternative pop superstars, we’ve interviewed some pretty stellar folks. And while we have dabbled in the world of 90’s hip hop, we haven’t seem to strike gold on a really beautiful showcase. Until now. Not only did we procure the chance to ask a few questions from the man who will be portraying the legendary DJ Yella of N.W.A. fame in the upcoming biopic about N.W.A., Straight Outta Compton, we actually managed to realize that that very man is none other than the illustriously talented actor and martial arts expert Neil Brown jr.
Brown has been around the acting world for quite some time, and has done some wonderful work, including a brilliant guest spots on hit television shows like Suits and The Walking Dead, and appearing in films like Fast and Furious and Battle Los Angeles. He is a highly skilled actor who has everything going for him. And while some may see his role as Yella in the upcoming biopic as a “break out” sort of role, we would definitely disagree. We’d call it just another fine performance by a wonderful and worthwhile actor to take note on.
And with that being said, we are very happy to have had the chance to has Neil a few questions about his career, Straight Outta Compton, and what the future holds for this immensely talented individual. Enjoy!
How did you find yourself in the world of acting, and what is it that keeps you going?
When I was a kid I won a few youth championships in Karate and Kickboxing. A casting Director and producer from universal studios came to my dojo to check me out for a new martial arts TV show called WMAC masters. They auditioned me, saw that I had a natural talent for acting, and I have been doing it ever since. I was 14 and caught the acting “bug”, I knew this was what I was meant to do. My wife, children, love of the art of acting and a thirst for learning is what keeps me going.
What sort of preperation have you been taking/did take to prepare yourself to perform the role as the legendary DJ Yella in the upcoming NWA biopic, Straight Outta Compton?
I searched all the videos, interview’s, pictures, and songs that I could find of NWA. I spent time with the real Antoine “Yella” Carraby, asked as many questions as I could think of. I studied all of his moves, his voice, his past and present experiences. I immersed myself in the time period that they came up in, and what their music meant to the world and to themselves. It was a beautiful experience. I pray we did them justice.
I grew up listening to NWA, for me to be a part of the film in any capacity was a dream come true. It didn’t take too much convincing for me at all. I jumped at the opportunity, I just wanted to do it right, and I knew having Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, Tomica, F. Gary Gray as well as all of the surviving members of NWA involved would get us there.
Another project I noticed you have in production is a comedy titled Rivers 9, which sounds like a very clever take on the Oceans series. Can you tell us a bit about this project? Who will you be performing as?
That movie is just a whole lot of foolishness and fun. I play Virgil Dobbs, a tough guy who knows how to get stuff done. It is in fact a funny take on Oceans Eleven. We had a great cast and crew! Chris W. Freeman brought me on because we worked together on Battle:Los Angeles and I knew he would make a fun movie. I had always been a fan of Vinnie Jones, C. Thomas Howell, Ed O’Ross, Elizabeth Rohm; the entire cast really, and I just knew Jamie Kennedy and I could make people laugh. The project looks awesome, and I just hope the people who watch it have as much fun as we had making it.
Now that you have done everything from racing street cars, to fighting aliens, killing zombies, or being just plain silly in films, what would you say is your favorite genre to work in?
I’m partial to a gripping drama, but I think any good film should take you through an entire sea of emotions. It should make you laugh, cry, be afraid, be happy, keep you in suspense, and have a great pay off in the end because thats life and I am a huge fan of that. What I do not like is being put into a box for the sake of sales, I like to move people…honestly.
If you could portray any famous character in American history, who would it be?
That’s a great question…….It would have to be Prince. I would love to do his life story. He was and is a musical genius, such an interesting man who effected so many people through his music, his heart, his energy. The boundaries he pushed or rather erased, the careers he started, the boxes they tried to put him in that he effectively destroyed. Love that man for that. It would be a daunting task but I think I could pull it off. Very passionate about that one!
I’ve been really blessed to have a good bit of projects in the can. River’s 9, Bad Blood, San Patricios, as well as a passion project called Cold: Choices which is about the immensely hard choices our heroes in the military have to make each day that the public have no idea about, just so we can feel safe. I’m a lucky guy, I have the privilege to play pretend for a living, and hopefully make people feel something.
When you look back on your career as an actor thus far, what would you say is your favorite aspect of the business thus far, and what are you most proud of yourself as an actor for?
Just like a fight or car accident, five different people may see those events five different ways. I love that people will watch my work and each person gets something different from it. I enjoy affecting people, and hope I can continue to do that, and get better at it through growth and experience. That is my favorite aspect as well as what I am most proud of.
What was the last thing that made you smile?
My wife’s smile.