Star of forthcoming film, FURIOUS 7, Actor/Singer/Rapper/Model TYRESE GIBSON covers the new issue of VIBE!!!
Here are some interview highlights:
VIBE: The Fast and The Furious script was inspired by an article on street racing that was first published in VIBE Magazine. Did you ever think it’d blow up into a billion-dollar franchise?
Tyrese: Clearly the story was an influential one, because a lot of people have showed up to support and experience this franchise domestically and internationally. I didn’t know what I was signing up for. I thought I was going to be in [2 Fast 2 Furious] and it would be over after that. But the fans around the world continue to show up. I was in Germany and [people] walked up and didn’t know a lick of English, but knew Roman Pierce and my name because of this franchise. That’s a big deal. The one and only franchise that’s this successful that’s not a comic book or a TV show. For us to be at Furious 7, it’s a real blessing.
Furious 7 is the most ambitious of the series. Is there pressure to top the previous film?
With the success comes a lot of pressure. How will we make it bigger, better [and] more interesting? How do we have a moment where you’re crying, emotional, [and] on the edge of your seat? How do we take it up a notch? We just hope that we never let the fans down. The overall magnitude of [Furious 7] is bigger. And very emotional for all the obvious reasons—our brother Paul Walker. So we’re trying to find a happy medium. You don’t want to come off too happy, too excited because we know what happened to our brother. But at the same time you are excited because the overall movie in itself—including Paul—is the best one of the series. We had to rise the occasion, become each other’s positive reinforcement and help us to get through making this movie, and we did. And we brought our brother with us. We’re excited. We believe that this is going to be the most successful one of all of them.
It has to be an extremely bittersweet project for you.
Way more bitter than sweet, trust me. This was supposed to be a worldwide press event, hit seven or eight countries. We narrowed it down to just L.A. It’s just too much emotionally. [Paul] was literally an angel. A good person, always smiling, always happy—just a great soul. We had a lot of opinions and ideas flying around. We made sure that everything about his moves and the moves that were going to be made were protected.
Production was halted for four months after Paul Walker’s death. What was it like on that first day back of filming?
The first day was very challenging because we started back in Atlanta, and that’s where I had last seen Paul. And the base camp where all the trailers were set up at was the same base camp. Imagine working on a movie on behalf of someone that was there, who is no longer there but they’re there in spirit. Imagine the first day of filming coming back to the set and experiencing that. Imagine putting that level of professional hat on. It was a lot. We had to pick up the pieces and recover, get closure, compartmentalize our emotions and move forward.
Ludacris has said he'd like to see Tom Cruise join the franchise, and Michelle Rodriguez is campaigning for Rihanna. If you could draft anyone onto the Furious cast, who would it be?
Matt Damon. That’s what I want. That’s my invite. Matt Damon, join us.
Let’s talk about your upcoming album, Black Rose.
My first single is called, Dumb Sh*t, featuring Snoop. The second single is called “Shame.” I be doing dumb shit, so I’m ashamed of it. Everyone of my singles are intertwined. It’s going to tell a story. When has anyone ever released a double album, one hip-hop [disc], one R&B [disc]? [There’s also] a documentary, book, and a movie.