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Watch Video: Common is Inspired By Mos Def’s Acting Talent

Watch Video: Common is Inspired By Mos Def's Acting Talent

Common, who currently stars in the AMC Reconstruction drama series Hell on Wheels (Sundays 10/9c), shares his thoughts on Mos Def, one of his "main guys" who inspired him to get into acting. Mos Def can be seen in the latest season of Showtime's Dexter (Sundays 9/8c).
Check out the video interview with Common below, which includes a clip of Mos Def demonstrating his acting chops.

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I want Common, the actor, to go away. I don't even want to hear him speak. Common should only rap because his acting skills are painful to watch.


I get Duncan's point, but I think Mos Def has talent as an actor I wouldn't say he's "much better" than Will Smith though as Will has shown range from "Fresh Prince," to "Six Degrees," to "Ali," and "Happyness." I don't think Common is very good as an actor AT ALL however, very wooden. But plenty folks like his looks (& good guy act) well enough, so he works. Dante seems to enjoy playing "characters," and is likely less concerned with his "look" than Common. I think it's hard for most rappers to shed their personas in order to fully immerse themselves in a character. But that's essential to a great performance, imo.

I'm not, however, averse to rappers (or "reality" stars) getting roles in films & TV. Hollywood has never been the exclusive domain of trained "actors" (nor has Broadway been for that matter). From its early beginnings, Tinseltown mined the vaudeville stage for comedians, dancers, and singers of the day to pull in audiences. It is show business after all.

hi hater

Duncan Manutz, you're barking up the wrong tree. He has a longer acting record than some of these actors on this site that get "recognition". He was excellent in the HBO film, and nominated for an Emmy & Golden Globe for it. He has also received an Obie Award. Check the resume and stop hating on Mos Def aka Dante aka Yasiin.


I have to agree with O. Mos Def is a good actor. He may not be of the same caliber as Jeffrey Wright, but the man can act. I was skeptical about him until I saw him in "Something the Lord Made". I was pleasantly surprise. He was also good in the bit part in "Monster's Ball."

If any read his earlier interview, you would know that he started out as an actor then went to rapping. So he is not typical actor turn rapper. He is an actor turned rapper turned actor.

Not for nothing, he is a much better actor than Will Smith. If an there's an rapper that need the right vehicles to showcase and develop their acting chops, it is definitely Mos Def. I could see why Common would look to Mos Def as a model to follow.


Although I'm not a fan of Common, the actor, I have to defend him on this. He's a rapper, that has gotten into acting later in his career. He's not an actor. He hasn't studied the craft for years or pursued a degree in theatre, etc. so his exposure is probably relatively limited. Sure, he watches films and TV, but it's a different game when you really begin to focus on it. It only makes sense that his main inspiration is another rapper turned actor. Mos is a really good actor. He put down some nice, relaxed work on Dexter. Hell, it could be worse. Common could be inspired by DMX…

Duncan Manutz

Has this dude every hear of Jeffery Wright or Avery disrespect to Mos Def but if that's as high as you want to aim for, that's too bad. But he is also getting roles all the time, so has the quality of acting chops been diminished if you only strive to be as good a Mos Def ?


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