Actor/Rapper Common has come forward to confirm reports that he will be playing a freed slave on the upcoming AMC series “Hell On Wheels” and revealed his motivation for taking on the role.
Common believes the show’s quality writing and overall concept were determining factors.
“The writing of the show was such quality and the character had so much depth to it. This is one of the best characters I’ve come across regarding reading any script in my life,” Common revealed to Beats, Boxing and Mayhem. “To play a freed slave to represent that time was a challenge to me as an actor. Whether it’s TV or not I just want to be a part of quality things. And being on AMC the season doesn’t last as long so I’ll still be able to do films and tour. That made it even a better situation.” (All Hip Hop)
Details on the program hit the Internet last week.
Common will star as a half-black, half-white freed slave in “Hell on Wheels,” a show about the building of the Transcontinental Railroad in the 1860s. The role of Elam is Common’s first leading role on television, according to AMC’s press release. The two-time Grammy winner has also had roles in the films “Just Wright,” “Date Night,” “Terminator Salvation” and “Smokin’ Aces.” The pilot will be shot in Alberta, Canada, next month. (Chicago Tribune)
An AMC executive also confirmed the network’s decision to cast the rapper-turned-actor.
AMC’s senior vice-president of programming Joel Stillerman said: “Common brings a layered intensity to a very complex role. This part required someone who can transcend the stereotypes of the period and bring the character to life in a truly unique way, and he brings that.” (Digital Spy)
The rapper is currently putting together his forthcoming album, Believer.
“It’s ‘good’ music,” he said. “The themes are street music and elevation, things that I feel like I always embody when I rap. But here there’s new situations, new solutions.” As far as production goes, Common says he’s working with No I.D. and Kanye West, both of which have produced a couple of his previous albums — “Be” and “Finding Forever,” “Resurrection” and “One Day It’ll All Make Sense” respectively. “I’m striving to get it out in the fall,” he said, adding that fans can expect a single by late summer or early fall. (Billboard)
A confirmed premiere date for the show has not yet been announced.
Check out a past Common interview down below: