'Fist Fight' star Ice Cube reveals why his movies are perfect for date night
Ice Cube knows that this weekend will be date night for a lot of stragglers celebrating Valentine’s Day.
But when it’s ticket-buying time at the box office, he has a pretty sound reason why the boys should be pushing their ladies to see Fist Fight, his new comedy with co-star Charlie Day (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia).
“Everybody knows, the way to a man’s heart is his stomach, but the way to a woman’s heart is her sense of humour,” Cube says with a chuckle down the line from Los Angeles. “Guys that can make girls laugh, get the girl. So, anytime you’re ready to get close to that girl you like, make her laugh – take her to an Ice Cube movie. That’s going to help get you some…”
Fist Fight finds the rapper playing an axe-wielding teacher who challenges a mild-mannered colleague (Day) to an after-school brawl. In the lead-up to the showdown, the pair have to dodge pranks played by the students.
The film is the latest in a string of comedies Cube, 47, has made in recent years, including the Ride Along and Jump Street series.
“That’s my lane right now,” he says. “Of course I want to do more dramas, but in Hollywood you have to get it while the getting is good. You have to roll with the scripts that people want to make.”
Ahead of the film’s release this Friday, Cube rang up the Sun to reminisce on school days, staying relevant, last year’s #OscarsSoWhite controversy and the Donald.
This isn’t a buddy film. You want to literally fight Charlie Day’s character, and yet you guys have great chemistry. How did you make that work?
I think it was a mutual respect. We were both fans of each other’s work… I won’t do a movie if I’m not digging the people that are in it, and with us it just fell into place.
The kids play some pretty mean pranks in Fist Fight. Has anyone pranked you in real life?
I’m not a good sport when it comes to pranks.
What was your favourite subject in school?
I used to love history and art. I was great in my drafting classes. I liked all the shop classes, back when they had shop in school. But like every other kid, I was trying to get the hell out of there.
The film sees the return of Tracy Morgan after his near-fatal accident several years ago. You’ve worked together in the past. What was the reunion like?
He’s such a good dude and when you have someone who has been in an accident like that, you just hope it doesn’t change them. It didn’t change Tracy at all. He’s very grateful to still be working and still be funny. He’s going through a lot, but he’s the same guy as the last time I did a movie with him.
Lately, you’ve done a lot of comedies. Are you just the funny guy now?
Studios, when they look at my resume, they see that I’ve had a lot of success with comedies so they always come at me with comedy. That’s cool. To me, I love all types of movies; comedies, drama, action, sci-fi… it’s all good.
You started out making music with N.W.A. in the late ‘80s and ‘90s, then you had a successful solo career. Here we are in 2017, and you’re still around. What was the key to your longevity?
Really giving a damn and staying true to what I do. I’m not trying to give people stuff I wouldn’t want… People will bless you with longevity if you give them good quality work and I try to do that every time.
Black Hollywood’s #OscarsSoWhite campaign last year prompted a lot of backlash, particularly since your N.W.A. biopic was snubbed. Seeing how diverse the nominees are this year, do you wish Straight Outta Compton had been nominated for Best Picture?
I made a movie that people could like; that’s why we did it. I’d rather have a movie that people like and see that doesn’t win an Oscar, than have an Oscar where everybody says, ‘That’s some artsy fartsy thing that only a couple of people watched.’
You’ve been teasing your next record, Everythang’s Corrupt, for the past few years. Now that you’ve got a new president, is now the time for new music?
It’s coming. Next month, I’m going to release a few tracks. We did a Death Certificate 25th anniversary record and we’re going to add three new songs on to that; they're pretty politically charged.
Can anything good come out of Donald Trump’s presidency?
I haven’t thought about that. Actually, I just thought about how much bad s--- can come out of it.