As part of his decades-long acting career, Ice T has become well-known for his role as undercover detective Scotty Appleton in New Jack City and his current role as Detective Finn Tutuola on “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.”
During a newly-published interview with Vlad TV, Ice T was asked why a large majority of his acting roles are that of cops.
According to the rapper-turned-actor, those who cast for roles don’t always look for someone who appears to fit the role the most. He added that they sometimes look for someone with “street texture” for the role of a cop.
“I think they book me to play cops—Because from a casting perspective if you cast a street cat as a street cat he’s not really acting,” Ice T said. “So, you take a drug dealer and make him a school teacher, you get a school teacher with an ill dynamic. Now, anybody that’s ever really been in high-level crime knows that the cops you deal with are more gangster than the cats on the streets. So, they really want someone who has that street texture to play the cop. Because it’s hard to get a square actor to play that thug cop. You know? And when I did New Jack City I was tremendously worried about it because I had just put out the O.G. album. But then I’m also intelligent to know that this is a great opportunity to be able to act. You’re doing something people dream about. So, don’t turn it down.”
Ice T also explained that people need to “be able to understand reality” when it comes to television and movies, and even music. He revealed that he can portray anyone he wants to on film despite who he is in real life.
“You gotta be able to understand reality,” he said. “I can become—on my records, I can become a drug addict. I can become a lot of things that I’m not for the sake of art. I never—I’m not one of those rappers that’s gonna tell you ‘Oh yo, this is real.’ I’mma be [straight]. ‘I didn’t do that. I didn’t do that. I didn’t do that.’ I played bad guys before, but I think—And I’m glad I been playing out of character of who I am for a while because that’s acting…I’ve gotten past that. I don’t really care about that.”