Guest Star: "When We Were Shooting 'The Town' Ben Affleck Brought Me In To Read For One Of The Bank Robbers"
Tuesday, Aug 23, 2011 12:22PM
[After making his acting debut in 2007's Gone Baby Gone and co-starring in last summer's blockbuster, The Town, Boston-rapper Slaine talks about rubbing elbows on the big screen alongside Hollywood star Ben Affleck.]
The Ben Affeck relationship kind of came through music. Ben was back in Boston and was casting for [2007's] Gone Baby Gone. It was around the same time I linked up with La Coka Nostra and there was a big article on us in the Herald [newspaper] about me, in particular, and my affiliation with Coka and how I kind of sold mixtapes on the street levels without them being in stores and gotten notoriety for where I was from.
Ben saw that in the paper, around the time he was casting Gone Baby Gone so I got all these calls one morning. Well, it was about three in the afternoon and I had about 16 sixteen missed phone calls. It turned out all of the newspapers and local stations were trying to get a hold of me because Ben had put a search out for me.
So I had never met him up until that point. So then I went and auditioned but it was more about him talking to me and hearing my story and stuff like that. He had brought me in another four times to talk with the producers of the movie. He had really wanted to put me in the movie but they didn't want to put me in because I had no acting experience. Then they did a little background check and thought I was too much of a risk and so on. But he went to bat for me and really wanted me to be in the movie because he thought I would bring an authentic feel to that role.
When we began, I made sure I was on time. I made sure to be on my game when I got there. I tried to be as on point as I could and we became friends when we shot Gone Baby Gone.
Then when we were shooting The Town, Ben brought me in to read for one of the bank robbers and I knocked it right out of the park. I got it on the first reading on the spot. So Ben gave me my shot.
I just did another movie called Cogan's Trade with Brad Pitt, James Gandolfini and Ray Liotta. That wasn't with Ben but Ben definitely discovered me and he's a good friend and mentor. That's kind of how that relationship evolved.
I don't lean more toward music or acting but if I look at it practically, acting is something you can do until you're 75 years-old. You can tell a lot of different stories in a lot of different ways on film. What I loved about hip-hop, which drew me to it as a kid, is I love writing. There was no rules. I went to school and I had to write something but there was no rules in hip-hop. I could say whatever I want, however I want, as edgy as I want. I could be as raw as I want with hip-hop.
But as I've gotten older, there's more limitations on modern-day hip-hop than when I was younger. On the hip-hop I grew up on, the late 80's and early 90's, that was really the golden era for me. That's what inspired me and made me become a hip-hop artist. I think with film, there's a broader vision of what you can do. There's not as many limits as there are musically.
I love doing both and I'm going to continue doing both but the movie checks are a little better.
Slaine is an Irish-American hip hop emcee and actor. He is best known for his work in the groups Special Teamz (with Edo G, Jaysaun and DJ JayCeeOh) and La Coka Nostra (with Danny Boy, Everlast, Ill Bill, DJ Lethal and formerly Big Left). Slaine has appeared on several solo mixtapes and compilations, the Special Teamz album Stereotypez and La Coka Nostra's album A Brand You Can Trust. His A World With No Skies 2.0 debut is currently available.