Don Cheadle Speaks on How Kendrick Lamar Got Him to Appear in DNA Video

If, like me, you wondered how Kendrick Lamar managed to get veteran Hollywood actor, Don Cheadle to appear in his recently released DNA video, then the answer is here. During his interview with Pitchfork, Don Cheadle was asked how Kendrick got him to act in the music video for DNA, and he answered with...

"Kendrick just hit me out of the blue and just said, “Hey man, I’m going to do this video, do you wanna be in it?” And I said, “Yeah, sure.” And then he said, “Do you want to know what the part is?” He was like, “Yeah, you’re gonna come in and play a cop, and you’re interrogating me, and then you’re just gonna spit my rap.”
I was like, “Uh OK, you know you’re like the best rapper in the world, so what are you talking about.” He sent me the lyrics and was like, “You just have to get this much of it down,” which was like half of it [laughs]. I was like, “Are you gonna have a teleprompter?” And he said, “No, it’s gonna be fine.”
So I crammed like we have to do as actors. It’s tricky, because it’s not a linear process. His thought process is not linear. That was probably the trickiest part of it—to figure out how thoughts led to each other. As a human being, he’s pretty normal and straight ahead, but when you listen to his rhymes, he’s constructing ideas in ways that are not immediately understandable. It takes a deep dive to kind of figure out why one verse creates the other verse and what it comes out of and all of that. So it’s tricky to memorize because it’s so specific to the way he thinks. But then when we got in there, we really just started playing. We just started improvising, really." (Pitchfork)
Don Cheadle really impressed me in that video. And to just learn that he had only two days to perfect that part, my respect for him just went a notch higher. 


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