WOW talks about ROLL BOUNCE
If you grew up in the 1970's like
myself, you most likely remember the greatness of Roller Skating. There
was a time when every kid worth their salt was doing it. The new movie
ROLL BOUNCE revisits that era, delivering a heartwarming story of a teenage
boy, living with a uncaring widowed father, pursuing the one thing he really
loves. The lead is play by Bow Wow, formerly Li'l Bow Wow. Forget
the kid films you've seen him in before. This is a career-making
performance for the young singer turned actor. Chances are he's moving
on to big things after this. I had a chance to sit down with Bow Wow and
discuss the making of the new film. He just finished a tour before we
I just wrapped up on the Scream tour, September 4th was the last show.
Everything is real organized. It's the first time I've ever done
something where everything has been in sync. I went on tour first.
It's like a domino effect. So when I come off tour, went right into this
movie. After this, I go right into another movie. The next year
will be here before we know it. Next movie I'm going to be working on
will actually be going from this year into next year, so I'm working hard.
They got me out here, just everywhere.
How was is doing all that
The skating was kind of easy, because I knew how to skate prior to the film.
Being that I'm from the Midwest, we used to always skate every Saturday and
Sunday in Ohio. So I really just had to bring my skills back to life.
Ever since I started traveling I didn't have time to go to the skating rinks
anymore, so I kind of lost my step. But when I got back in the mix, and
put my skates on, and rolled around the rink a couple of times for a couple of
hours, I got my swagger back. So I was ready to go ahead and do my
thing. If I had to go percentage wise, I'd say I did about 89% of the
skating. So a majority of the skating is me. Even though I had a
double, and sometimes I'd walk on the set when they were shooting my double,
I'd be like "Man, I can do exactly what he's doing." I would go in there
and I would do it. That was something I really wanted to do. I
felt that if it was going to be authentic, I wanted to do it myself.
That's how I've always been. I've been a "I want to do it myself" type
of dude, I've always got to learn the hard way. We wanted to make it
really authentic in the movie. That was the thing I was concerned with.
They wanted to make it as real as possible, and I was all up for it.
MARK: Yeah, when I was
a kid I used to go to the roller rink all the time. This movie took me
back. It really was like taking a trip back in time. You guys were
so authentic with detail and everything.
MARK: How much research
did you do, and how many different people did you talk to make sure you got
that just right?
I did a lot of research. I watched a lot of movies and a lot of
television shows. I watched things like GOOD TIMES and movies
like COOLEY HIGH, THE JEFFERSONS, you know just trying to get
the swagger. You know to understand exactly what this time period was
really about. I've heard a lot about the seventies, supposed to be one
of the coolest, funkiest times ever. So I really wanted to relive it.
I had to become it, to live in this timeframe. It was crazy, cause I was
watching the posture, the words, how they would say certain things, the
accent. And we had to mix it with Chicago accents as well, since we were
supposed to be from the Southside. We had to really try to make it real,
that was the main concern. How real can we possibly make this, and if so
will that really reach out and grab the audience and bring them back in time
with us. I always play around with a lot of acting, so that was nothing
for me to say some of the things I said in the movie, or move my hands a
certain way. It was all in fun. I think that was the main thing
that really drew me into the film, that is was something different, and
something I haven't done yet. That's something the fans really haven't
seen me do yet, is to really act. This movie definitely displays that.
On top of that to do something different with everything. From the
seventies slang, to how I hold my hands, to how I walk, everything.
From the clothes, to the hair, to the whole nines. It was just fun.
I had a lot of fun just going back in time and reliving those moments.
Was it hard getting used to the
The music was easy. I listen to a lot of old school music, and that was
nothing I hadn't heard already. The slang and all that, was quite simple
as well. Just mocking people, I can do that. (laughs)
MARK: You get a chance
to go to some dark dramatic places in this movie, like in the scene where you
and your dad are confronting one another with his car. How was it
getting a chance to go that direction with your acting, and do you want to do
more of that?
Oh yeah definitely. You know, you get more credit that way. And
when I did this movie I couldn't wait to see how that turned out, because I
know when people see it they're going to think "Man, that boy stepped it up!"
That was something I found interesting as well. It was something I
haven't done in a movie. I haven't cried in a movie, or done a lot of
these things that I'm actually doing in this film. And I felt that it
would help me in my career, and a lot of other things. You know a lot of
opportunities would open up if I do things like this. And this was first
time I'm done something like this. It was just crazy for me. It
was awkward and weird for me, being that this is my first time doing a scene
like this. I'd never really done any touchy scenes like this before.
I had a lot of fun doing it, and I just really had to take it there. I
gave this movie all I had, and I was trying to live this character. I
wasn't trying to be like "Okay, now I gotta wake up and go to the set, and cry
today." I took my soul out of myself and I actually put my soul inside
this kid. I wanted to live this kid, I wanted understand his pain, I
wanted to understand how it would feel to not have a mother around, but have a
father around and a little sister. And for my father not to really love
me the way I want him to love me, and just support me as a son. Once I
understood it, I knew all the rest was history. I knew once it got down
for me to do those scenes, I'd know. And I did it. That was one of
those scenes I was ready to do it and get done with it. I didn't want to
stand it much longer.
MARK: Was it one of
those things where you took yourself to a dark place, and you wanted to get
this out of the way so you could get back to the fun?
Oh yeah, definitely. We only ended up doing that scene about four times.
And after the fourth time that was it. After the fourth time we left it
MARK: It was probably
It is, and on top of that, it takes you somewhere else, man. Acting will
just take you to a whole other world, and that's what that is. We found,
me and Chi, found ourselves saying some crazy things to each other in that
garage scene. The cameras just keep rolling, and you're so into it.
He's yelling at me and I'm yelling back at him, and he's cursing me out and
I'm cursing him out. It's real, it comes off to be real. It's one
of those movie things where you don't want to stay on things like that for a
long time, or keep setting up shots to shoot scenes from different camera
angles. It's just so touchy you know? I remember that day
everybody on the set just crying. Even the scene before the garage scene
where I throw the skates down at the front door, that was kind of heavy too.
Talking about his off-screen
friendship his on-screen buddies.
A lot of my cast mates, this was their first movie. I think they thought
I might be arrogant or cocky, and not want to hang out with them. I
wasn't like that. When I got into town, I just took care of business.
I'm here for business, I don't want to make any friends. I just wanted
to do what I came to Chicago to do for these three months, which is to make a
movie. But just me being there for three months with the guys, and just
mingling with some people around my age, it was fun. And actually Khleo
Thomas who plays Mixed Mike, the kid we always say is the "white boy" in the
movie, I actually took him on tour with me. He was on the Scream Four
tour with me, he's also a rapper. So me and him bonded the closest out
of everybody. To this day that's like my right hand man there.
I'll probably be doing a lot of big things with him in the future. I
really like him, he's got a big strong head on him, and he's good at what he
does too. He's from HOLES, he played in that.
MARK: WALKING TALL
Yeah, WALKING TALL. He's got a long career ahead of him too. And
he's only 16 years old.
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