Q&A With Common
The musician/actor talks about his latest film, his health, being a dad, and his work with children.
Your 2011 memoir, One Day It’ll All Make Sense, was co-written with your mother, and your mom plays a key role in your foundation. How do the two of you work together?
"My mother is a really important part of my life. She’s provided a lot for me, and she’s always encouraged me to do more and help out more. As a teacher and a principal, she has always wanted to be present in the lives of young people, so working with the foundation is like one of her callings. Working with her on the book was really great. It was natural -- just her talking about her love, and her ideas, and the surprises and different things about dealing with me. It was really enlightening for me -- I didn’t know it would be so much fun!"
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.