Allison Kugel: Your hand is in so many different things these days, and your movie #Unknown will be released next month. What is it about acting that appeals to you?
Master P: When you get to a certain level, you want to bring projects to life. For me, it is almost like being two different people. I can go be a businessman on this side and come back and utilize my acting skills and my fanbase, and just feeding them. It’s connecting to the audience and letting people see me in different ways. In this movie, I play the mayor, and it’s a suspense thriller. It’s about being able to let people see me in different ways. In my next movies, I want to go beyond what you think you would see me doing in a movie. I’m even thinking about, like how Arnold Schwarzenegger played his role in Kindergarten Cop. I want to do a movie like that, set in an elementary school, playing a teacher or a principal. It’s fun to be able to portray other people and to bring a character to life.
Allison Kugel: Tell me about the plot of this movie.
Master P: #Unknown is a suspense thriller, but it’s also about a relationship and about trust and faith in somebody. The main character, his girl doesn’t believe him about what is going on with all these murders that happened years ago in this town. The movie has a great plot to it, but at the same time, throughout the story, your mind is constantly trying to figure out what’s true, and did this happen, and when did it happen? I think it’s also about a couple trying to figure out if they can trust each other. Is this guy who he says he is? This film asks the question: in life, do you really believe in the person you are with?
Allison Kugel: And do you ever really know somebody?
Master P: Exactly, that’s what it is. That’s the unknown.
Allison Kugel: You’re used to being the boss, and on a movie set, when you are playing a character and you are working with someone like filmmaker LazRael Lison, who produced, wrote, and directed this film, are you good at taking direction from someone else?
Master P: It’s all about being a team player. When you are making a film, you have to know that we are working together to bring something to life, so it is never about me. I learned that from playing sports, there is no “I” in team. We had a great group of people, and everybody was professional, and everybody did their job. When I get on a movie set it is not about me being a boss or an executive producer. If I’m an actor, I have to play my role and you have to let the director play his role, and everybody else in the cast has to play their role if we are going to win. To be a good teacher, you have to be a good student. I’m constantly learning how to get better. I know I’m on my way to doing some great things and bringing some great projects to life because I want to keep getting better and you have to put in the work. Even when you look at somebody like Samuel Jackson, he didn’t get stronger in his game until he was older. This is about growing for me. I don’t compare this to my music or my business or anything else I’ve done. I take acting seriously because I want to constantly keep growing and getting better.
Allison Kugel: So many films are now being released, simultaneously, in theatres and on streaming services, because of this pandemic. It’s re-shaping the entire movie industry. What are your thoughts?
Master P: I think it’s great because people are able to enjoy these movies and get a chance to see it when they want to see it. Streaming is so important, and we are focusing on that. You’ll be able to go to Amazon Prime to see this movie, #Unknown, and it’s incredible. It’s the new way, and a lot of people want to be safe during this pandemic, so this is a great way to put movies out now.
Allison Kugel: Do you think a movie release can be as exciting of an event, and be profitable when the majority of people elect to watch it at home instead of in the theatre?
Master P: We’re going to have to adapt to the times. People have a choice. Some people still want to go to theatres and see films, but some people are more comfortable at home right now. This is about safety, right now. A lot of these movies are not going to make the money they normally would make, but when you look at the streaming right now, those numbers are about to start going up, so it’s just a new way.
#Unknown, starring Master P, Judd Nelson, Tom Sizemore, Denise Boutte, and Hal Ozsan; and produced, written, and directed by LazRael Lison, premiered October 1st, exclusively on Amazon Prime. Follow Master P on Instagram @masterp and follow filmmaker LazRael Lison @lazrael_lison. Watch the trailer for #Unknown.
Listen to the full conversation with Master P and filmmaker, LazRael Lison, on the Allison Interviews Podcast on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. Follow Allison Kugel on Instagram @theallisonkugel and at allisoninterviews.com.