Method Man on Going From Rap Star to Movie Star – Hemisphere

One thing overlooked about many rappers-turned-actors is just how good they had to be as rappers. Charlize Theron and Gal Gadot were perfectly fine fashion models, but Ice Cube, Ice T, and LL Cool J each transformed the music industry, while Method Man was a blockbuster presence from the very moment he stepped onstage. As the biggest star in perhaps the biggest hip-hop group of the last 30 years, the Wu-Tang Clan, Cliff “Method Man” Smith seemed to arrive fully formed, with blazing charisma and an instinct for voice, narrative, and self-presentation that most actors take years to acquire. For a decade, he spread these gifts across a rogues’ gallery of convicts, gangsters, and sleepy-eyed stoners—but then Method Man got serious. He became a passionate student of the craft and began to put his moneymaking physicality to complete use. His two latest parts are telling: too-slick criminal defense lawyer Davis Maclean in the TV crime drama Power Book II: Ghost and horseback-riding ghetto cop in the Netflix indie drama Concrete Cowboy. Each is a worthy successor to the frighteningly magnetic pimp he played in David Simon’s gritty HBO Times Square period piece, The Deuce. Both are products of research, study, experience, and having spiritually grown into his 6-foot-3 frame. A day after his odometer clicked past 50, he called Hemispheres from his longtime home in Staten Island to talk about his ever-morphing career.

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