Hip-hop artist and all around bad boy DMX made the move from musician to actor in 2000 starring alongside, Jet Li and Aaliyah in Romeo Must Die followed by Exit Wounds with Steven Seagal. Never Die Alone is his sixth film.
LF: In Never Die Alone you play a drug dealer seeking redemption. Why do this film?
DMX: I was in jail from 1986 to 1988. One time I was on key lock. That's when you are locked up for 24 hours with one hour for recreation and a 15-minute phone call. Anyways, I came across this book by Donald Goines called Whoreson. I read that book in one day. I didn't eat chow or nothing. He ended up writing Never Die Alone and that's why I was attracted to this role.
LF: Do you watch yourself on film?
DMX: Not really. I saw Cradle to the Grave and my kids were watching it with me. They were looking at me, looking back up to the screen and saying, "Dada?" It was like they were thinking, "How are you here when you are up there?" I don't usually watch my movies, no. I watch them at the premiere. As soon as I watch the movie I see certain areas I could have performed better. I am used to being the best at what I do. I don't play basketball. I don't do it well. I shoot pool, I collect real cars and I race remote control cars. I raise my dogs.
LF: You are a very hyperactive guy and you talk fast. In Never Die Alone, your drug-lord character speaks and walks slowly. Was that hard given your high-energy nature?
DMX: I had to practice slowing everything down and I had to wear a suit and I don't wear suits. I wore one to my wedding and one to a friend's funeral but that's it.
LF: You've been to prison a few times so you can probably relate to your drug-lord character, right?
DMX: I wasn't never really a drug dealer. I didn't have the patience for it. There's a difference between doing wrong and being wrong. I'm not a bad person. I might do some wrong once in a while but I give people respect. I am pleased with how I played the role but I know that's not really me.
LF: What did your time in jail teach you?
DMX: What goes around comes around. I learnt that the hard way. This is before I got signed to a record deal. But I signed shortly after that. I realized that is the only way a person like me could have learned. Because I'm hard-headed. And that's the only way I could have learned, having it catch up to me when I didn't do it.
LF: How did you become an actor?
DMX: Hip hop music director Hype Williams did my first video and he was like, "You would be perfect for this role in Belly", which he was directing. So I thought, "Cool, I'll do a movie." I went into a little room to read the lines and I was nervous as anything.
LF: What's your favourite role?
DMX: It's between playing Tommy Bundy in Belly and this one right here. I am grateful for the three other films I did as well. But a lot of Belly was me and it had to be in order for me to be comfortable as I was. I was drunk the whole movie. That's what made it easier.
LF: Do you have a romantic side to you?
DMX: My wife is the reason I work as hard as I do. She is my heart. I love her more than I love myself. The first day I met her I told her I loved her, It was the first time I had felt that way about any woman I had ever been with.
We played hard to get at first. Then I wrote a song about her, and I performed it at a club. Since the first day we started going together, we lived together.
LF: What's coming up after Never Die Alone?
DMX: My autobiography will be one of my next projects, which I will narrate. I know that the real reason I am on this earth is to speak the word. To bring more people to Jesus and that's my career. These are just jobs, these are things that I ask God for and he's given them to me on a huge scale.