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Q&A With Common

The musician/actor talks about his latest film, his health, being a dad, and his work with children.

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Tell us about your new film, Now You See Me.

It’s a thriller/action movie, about magicians who rob banks and then give the money to the people. It’s a well-written story, very action-packed, and featuring a lot of incredible actors: Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher. I play the head of the FBI division on the hunt to find out who these magicians are going to be robbing next."

You’ve said that the birth of your daughter was a transformative moment that left you with a new take on your responsibilities as an artist. Can you talk about the first time that really hit you?

"It hit me, really as soon as I knew that Kim, her mom, was pregnant: and, 'I’ve got a responsibility! I’m about to be a father.' It was like a mountain I felt I had to climb. I was just a young guy having fun and being creative and living out my dreams, but then I started thinking about what can I do to be a good father and take responsibility -- and also think about how my music can affect young people, and what type of world I’m going to create.

"It wasn’t that my heart wasn’t always into that, I like to create positive vibrations, but it became more of a duty to do that. I knew that it was time for me to start having even a greater purpose in my music. That was a turning point, a shift. As much as I had to be responsible and say something in my music, I also have to be honest and true to where I am. Just because you become a parent doesn’t take you away from being a young man, a fun-loving person."

What has been your toughest moment as a father?

Truly, I think one of the hardest things has been just not going forward in a relationship with my daughter’s mom. That’s a hard thing because, you know, hey, I’m supposed to be here and be present, but I don’t necessarily want to be in a relationship with the person, so what do I do? I knew if I wasn’t happy I couldn’t be a good father and a good person, so I had to choose to be the best father I could be even though we might not be the traditional married family. It’s also hard because I have to make sure to allocate time to be the best father I can be when I’m in an industry that’s so demanding, especially when you’re the artist. You gotta show up when some of the other people on the team don’t have to physically be there.

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