Marques Houston has juggled the hats of singer and actor for most of his career and now the 31-year old is moving behind the scenes. He starred and served as producer of Battlefield America, on Blu-Ray and DVD September 18.
The film tells the story of a community center of wayward kids who find their purpose through dance. Houston plays an ad exec named Sean Lewis who helps them achieve it. The former IMx star chatted with BET.com about his new movie, his beef with Raz B of B2K and why Breakin’ ranks as one his all-time favorite flicks.
Let’s just get this out of the way first. You’ve been at odds with Raz B of B2K over comments he’s made about you. Can that riff ever be mended?
No, I won’t comment on that. Negativity is not what I like to think about or where I like to place my life. I like to roll with the positive. God has blessed me with an outstanding career, he continues to bless me now. So I like to stay positive and I like to stay away from negativity because when you bring that into your life, talk about it, you give it life. I would never give that situation life because for one it’s 100 percent false, it’s nonsense, and it makes me sick to my stomach that people would even buy into it. It’s lost in my head, I don’t even think about it anymore because it’s not true.
Your latest movie Battlefield America arrives on DVD soon. What was the inspiration for it?
It was the real life situation of kids out there that are struggling who may not be the best in schools, and maybe some come from broken homes who may be part of local community centers. These places offer kids a way out of something to look to forward to, something positive in their life. You have kids dancing out there that nobody really knows about. When we did You Got Served it was the same thing, with the battle dancing, nobody knew that this was going on underground. A lot of this goes on at community centers, these kids are doing their dance battles and they’re getting down. I think what really attracted me to this script is I got a chance to play this real cocky arrogant guy who doesn’t do anything for anybody else except himself.
Your character Sean doesn’t dance at all. As a real life dancer, were you on the sidelines during the movie shoot wanting to jump in there and show them how it’s done?
I actually was looking like, “Man, if I could just bust one of my moves!” But then I started thinking, "Maybe I’m a little too old to get down with these kids." The kids that are in the movie are ages eight to twelve and they are amazing dancers — like adult dancers. They were doing some moves that left you thinking, “Where did that come from?” It was a thrill to be able to watch these kids because they were so good.
In the film, Sean’s community service is training kids to be dancers. Which would you personally rather do: pick up trash by the side of the road in an orange jumpsuit or give back to the children?
I’m really lazy. So the hours and the manual labor to pick up trash I’d be like, “Oh, my God when is this going to be over?” I like to relax. I think I’d be more motivated to train kids how to dance. I know what it takes to be a winner. I know what it feels like to be knocked down and counted out. I’ve been the underdog in a lot of aspects of my career. So I definitely think I could do that.
Lastly, what’s your ultimate favorite dance movie of all time?
My favorite dance movie is Breakin’ and I think it’s because of my generation. I’m 31. That was the dance movie back in the '80s. I was amazed with all the pop locking. To be able to see people move their bodies like robots was crazy to me. I was also a big Michael Jackson fan. I’ve always been a big fan of dance, so Breakin’ really did it for me.
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(Photo: A Turner Archives/PictureGroup)