We Talked To Ash & Bizzy Bone, The Cast Of “What Now”
What Now is a comedy about the things we all do—go on Tinder—with the rappers we’ve loved for years. Ash Avildsen’s new flick features himself alongside Ice T and Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, as they navigate the modern world of dating. We caught up with the director/writer/actor Ash Avildsen, and hip-hop legend/actor Bizzy Bone to talk about transitioning from music to movies, A$AP Mob, and of course, some Tinder horror stories.
How did your career in music influence your work in this movie?
Ash Avildsen: I’ve made my career in music, and a lot of the music we used in the movie is by artists on my label, like Ice T for example. I just felt it was really important to include music that I love.
Bizzy Bone: As a rapper, learning how to develop a stage presence is really important. You also learn how to be comfortable on video when you’re a music artist. In general, you have to have an understanding of how to improve your visual influence.
Was music an important part of this story?
AA: Well, I wanted to include musicians that I was friends with, and who all have their own followings. As an independent film-maker, it’s also interesting to realize that a lot of musicians are really good at acting. One thing that was really great—Ice-T is the original writer of 99 problems, and people don’t realize that Ice-T actually wrote the song, and that Jay Z took the song from him. So there was one scene where we filmed him performing the song. That was a really great day.
What was the best part of filming the movie?
AA: Well, the Bone Thugs experience was really surreal for me. There was this one moment, when we filmed this amazing scene—I don’t want to give it away, but basically there’s one moment where Krayzie and Layzie are just really killing it. It’s just incredibly hilarious. It was crazy because I grew up just loving them, and as they were performing, I was like, I can’t believe this is happening. Seeing Ice T kill it was amazing as well, I mean, he ad-libbed a lot of his lines and they’re some of the funniest in the movie.
BB: The highlight was definitely the satire I was able to explore. I was really satisfied when I was able to these complete these crazy scenes. So most of the movie, I’m playing this stationary role, and I’m holding it down, as a solid friend, but then there’s moments where I really just break out. I was really excited about all the scenes where I was able to go above and beyond. It was amazing to work with everybody in the film as well.
And Bizzy, have you always been interested in acting?
BB: Of course, yeah, from school plays to acting out scenes at home by myself—I’d act in front of my pillows, back in the day, they were my audience. I was performing in talent shows by the time I was 9 or 10. I did another movie called Cutthroat Alley you know, but this movie where I realized I really want to be taking my acting further. I had a great time, and I loved memorizing lines…which is actually pretty similar to rapping.
Who are some of your favorite actors?
BB: I didn’t really have favorite actors until I was older, and then I was really into Pacino. Now, I’d say that Cuba Gooding Jr. is the best actor from my time. When it comes to actresses, I like Taraji P. Henson, Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Aniston…all the girls who are out there rocking right now.
Also, I know you’ve been influencing A$AP Mob a lot—how do you feel about that?
BB: As far as the A$AP Crew—RIP Yams—those guys have been so instrumental in the opportunity to get back into the music scene. It’s been phenomenal and wonderful for the rebels of the industry to be genuinely interested in the work we’ve done…and it’s crazy because we’ve got a second wind now, and it’s in large part due to those guys. And what’s cool is that they’re real fans. It’s just amazing, really.
And what’s coming up for you this year, Bizzy?
BB: I’m excited about the world tour with my group. The brand is building back again, which is why I had the opportunity for this world tour. I’m excited about my new single, which just hit number one. Like I said, we’re really on our second wind, and it’s amazing because we’re seasoned artists now. When we first toured, it was totally different than now—I feel that we have an opportunity to really take in the experiences we have now, as opposed to be kind of all over the place when we were younger.
Ash, are you a big online dater?
AA: Well, I’m in a relationship right now, but I’ve done them all. It’s just the means to an end, you know? It’s another way for two people to meet instead of meeting at a bar. I say that something like a pencil. As in, it’s all about what you choose to do with a pencil—you can write a love letter, or like, stab someone in the neck with it. I don’t think dating apps are a bad thing, I think they’re just a reflection of our culture.
Do you have any horror stories from your online dating experiences?
AA: I had an online date with this vocal instructor, and it was going well, but I just had come out of my first Reiki massage session, and the Reiki healer had put this kind of special glitter on me…the girl was like, “What’s up with all the glitter?” and I tried to explain to her what Reiki was, but she’d never heard of it. She definitely thought I had just left a strip club or something.
Have you seen the website ‘Seeking Arrangements’?
AA: I saw the Youtube ads, but what is it exactly? Younger girls searching for sugar daddies, right?
Yeah, and it’s like a legit thing. Like the website will run a background check, so they see that you’re making a certain amount of money. Some guys really don’t f*** around, their usernames are things like “CEO”. And men can search for rich women on the website also.
AA: Jesus, that sounds crazy. Hopefully I’ll never have to count on that. But if young guys can search for older sugar mamas on it, I guess that’s kind of funny.
“What Now” is out now on iTunes.