Homosexuality and hip hop hit the big screen at the Sundance Film Festival. Kid Cudi, who has been making the leap from music to movies, recently starred as a gay man in the hard-hitting drama James White. The film, which follows the life of a twenty-something New Yorker dealing with familial tragedies and his personal demons, sees the musician share a kiss with the heterosexual lead.
"I'm mad [Josh Mond] cut out my kissing scenes with David [Call]," Cudi said of the director's decision to trash the intimate scene. "We made out so many times — and it was so good! That's my only gripe."
Revealing to Billboard that he did not learn of the deletion until the premiere of the film, the "Day 'n' Nite" emcee said that he was excited to see the unexpected moment play out on screen. "My thing is, what story are we trying to tell here?" he said. "I didn't flinch. I'm secure with mine. I'm an artist — it's all about playing characters that are intriguing and stimulating."
Kid Cudi — whose real name is Scott Mescudi — embraced the role from the beginning, seeing it as an opportunity to expand his palate as an actor. "This was way different than anything else I've ever done," he said. "It was dope to do that. I felt like I had a responsibility to present a different walk in life from that world."
Cudi explained that though his character's sexuality was not blatantly explored in the film, the scenes where he comes out of the closet highlight a moment of equality that everyone should pay attention to. "When he comes out of the closet, it's not really a thing," he said. "I think that's something the world needs to see. 'Cause it's not a thing. We're all equal."
Cudi isn't a stranger to the acting world. In 2010, he starred in the HBO comedy series How to Make It in America before its cancellation after two seasons. He also played a serial killer in a short film directed by Shia LaBeouf and made a few guest spots on The Cleveland Show, One Tree Hill and Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
James White premiered on Jan. 23 at Sundance.
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