Interview: Edwin Freeman

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[Entertainment: Actor Interview]

Edwin Freeman portrays Mister Cee in the upcoming film "Notorious" about the life of late rapper Biggie Smalls other wise known as the Notorious BIG. Freeman has previously appeared in a few other films such as My Super Ex-Girlfriend and Inside Man.

BSN: How did you go about preparing for your role as Mister Cee?
EF: I met with my acting coach JT Wagner and we dealt with what’s called in Method Acting, Psychological Gestures. I had to create in my mind a posture for the character, a tone of voice, a personality, a favorite hobby, child hood experiences, what I basically had to do was create a whole character, so that it looks like the character has lived a full life when people see him on the screen.

BSN: Being that Mister Cee is a DJ, did you have any prior experience as a DJ before taking on the role of Mister Cee?
EF: When I was in Junior High School me and my friends used to save our money to buy records and throw house parties on the weekend. So I knew a bit about DJing prior to taking on the role of Mister Cee.

BSN: Have you ever met Mister Cee, and if so what advice did he give you that helped you portray him in "Notorious"?
EF: Prior to filming I didn’t have the privilege of meeting Mister Cee, but Derek "D-Dot" Angelettie, who is a good friend of Mister Cee, was on set every day to help me with my performance. He was there to help make sure that my portrayal of Mister Cee was authentic, having him on set really worked out for me.

BSN: What was it like working with Jamal "Gravy" Woolard and Derek Luke on set?
EF: Working with Jamal and Derek was a great experience; they are two down to earth individuals. The level of camaraderie on set was very high. From the producers, Ms. Wallace, Wayne Barrow, Diddy and Mark Pitts to the director, George Tillman down to the actors Derek Luke, Jamal Woolard, Anthony Mackie, Angela Bassett and Dennis White, it was like working with family.

BSN: How has the music of Biggie Smalls influenced you?
EF: Biggie's music influenced me in a major way, being a young, Black man from Brooklyn, I identify with his music in a major way. Songs like "Juicy"; "Everyday Struggle" and "Sky’s the Limit" helped me deal with a lot of the ups and downs in the entertainment industry and life in general.

BSN: What would you say is the impact of Biggie Small’s music on today’s Hip-Hop culture?
EF: For a young man that was taken away from us at the tender age of 24, Biggie was way ahead of his time, the things that he rapped about in his music is still being rapped about today. How he rapped about being the underdog and finally making it to a level in his career where he’s able to take care of his responsibilities, to the way he dressed, the cars he drove and the jewelry he wore. You can still see and hear his influence within the Hip-Hop culture today.

BSN: What do you feel is Biggie Small's legacy?
EF: "Dream big and work hard". Biggie was the only child, born to a single mother in a crime and drug infested community and he never once complained. He had a dream and he stopped at nothing to achieve it. There’s a lesson that we can all learn from his life.

BSN: How do you feel Biggie Small’s legacy has influenced the youth of today?
EF: No matter what obstacles that you are faced with, you can overcome them, if you stay positive and work hard, your innermost dreams can come true. We have more young CEOs and millionaires than ever before in history. That’s because the youth of today shares the same ideals as Biggie, "Dream big and work hard".

Notorious is being released nationwide on January 16, 2009.

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