Bow Wow has been juggling his music career with his acting work for the past 12 years. In his new military film, Allegiance, which also stars Malik Yoba, the 106 & Park host gets to stretch dramatically in his portrayal of Specialist Chris Reyes. Bow Wow chatted to BET.com about playing a soldier in his new film, why he loves acting more than the rap game and why hosting 106 & Park is the best job ever.
You had a pressure-cooker role in Allegiance and your performance was quite impressive. How did you prepare for it?
We had a lot of extras that were in the military, so we had that inside scoop. Plus, we also had a lot of time to train and they taught us things. But I don’t prepare for any movie that I do, I just jump right into it. I don’t act. I get in front of a camera and I become myself. That was just a more serious side of me. I wanted to try something different. I liked the story. I was glad to do it as a challenge.
There are a lot of rappers who act. So at this point in your career, which would you call your first love, rapping or acting?
Movies and film are my first love. I don’t really know why but I guess it’s because I just get to be myself. Bow Wow is a character. Even when people see me on 106 & Park, they’re looking at Bow Wow not Shad Moss. Shad is who I am in movies. I think that’s why people gravitate to my movies, more so than my music, because I opened up this passageway. People have seen me do it and like me doing it. I love it. I would definitely choose acting and television over rapping — anytime.
You’re also one of the new hosts of 106 & Park. What do you love most about your new gig? The cafeteria at BET, I love the cafeteria. This is like the first real job I’ve ever had in my life. I feel like Marcus, Eddie Murphy’s character in Boomerang in a way. I’m in an office building. There are tons of beautiful women all around all day. The mail guy is like the Chris Rock character. I know him. I see him everyday, and he’s like, “Bow! What up?” I just like waking up and knowing that I’m going to be around a lot of great, positive people every day.
Was it challenging to go from interviewee to interviewer?
No, not all. My whole philosophy is that everyone knows I’m Mr. 106. They brought me here for a reason, to change the landscape of the show and keep people watching. But I feel like it’s really my house and that everybody who comes on the show is my guest. No matter how big the superstar or artist is, for me, when you step on that stage you’re in my house. I can’t lose there. Plus, you know how long I’ve been answering questions? Since I was nine years old. It’s about time I get to ask all the questions and see how it feels on the other side. I can’t complain at all. I love 106 & Park and I thank BET for allowing me to come on board and do what I do.
Do you have any favorite interviews that you’ve done on 106 & Park so far?
All of the interviews, because everyone who’s come to the show I know them personally. Shaquille O' Neal is one my favorites. I’ve been to Shaq’s house in Orlando and played ball with him. Usher watched me grow up from a little boy to a man. T.I., we had him on the show the other day. I’ve known him since my third album. For me, having everybody come to the crib — it’s dope. It’s a nice feeling. It’s been a blessing that I really know these guys away from the bright lights. It’s a good feeling.
Allegiance is currently available Video On Demand. It will be in theaters in limited release on December 28.
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