Flavor Flav with Under One Roof's Kelly Perine
First, there was Public Enemy, in which Flavor Flav
(né William Drayton) was the hyperactive comic relief for the iconic '80s rap group. Then, Flav reemerged in VH-1's reality lineup, most recently as the eligible bachelor of Flavor of Love
. Now, the hip-hop artist turned reality maven is starring in his first scripted series, MyNetworkTV's Under One Roof
(tonight at 8pm/ET). In the show, Flav plays Calvster Hill, an ex-con who moves in with his wealthy brother (Kelly Perine) and his family after being released from jail, and proceeds to butt heads and turn the household upside down. If this sounds familiar, it's because it is — one of the show's producers, Darryl Quarles, was also one of the minds behind Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
. Flav discussed what defines the new show, what his biggest hurdles were going from reality to a sitcom, and what he's scheming for his next move.
TVGuide.com: Can you tell us what Under One Roof will look and feel like? It doesn't sound like anything we've seen from you before.
Flavor Flav: Well, I'll tell you something. It's not going to look like anything you've seen before, because I know you've never seen Flavor Flav on a sitcom before. It's going to feel like Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, it's got that feel to it. The show is written by one of the people who had a lot to do with the writing of Fresh Prince, my boy Darryl Quarles. It has that longevity.
TVGuide.com: Considering Under One Roof emulates a genre that has been successful, what's going to be different about the show? What can we expect from your character, Calvster Hill?
Flav: Personalities make things different. My personality right now is definitely over-the-top. I'm definitely going to give this show a crazy twist to it. My rich brother [on the show], who's played by the world's great Kelly Perine, his character is definitely… very corporate. My character is very streety. You know, you take a street person and a corporate person and put them together, and you come up with something the world's ain't able to come up with.
TVGuide.com: This type of dynamic on the show, is it something you've ever encountered in your own life, or even on other shows you've done?
Flav: To tell you the truth, my main reason for moving from the East to the West Coast was to pursue a TV and movie career. What I'm doing right now is so far from what I've been doing, which is reality TV. In reality TV, I'm mostly under my own direction, with the help of ideas from my producers. But this Under One Roof thing, it's a challenge to me. I'm acting, I'm really reading scripts, I'm trying to remember lines, and actually, the biggest challenge to me is that I've got a bad case of CRS — can't remember s--t! [Laughs]
TVGuide.com: One of the best parts about seeing music artists move from one talent field to another is getting a taste of both. Will we get to see any of your music on Under One Roof?
Flav: Right now it's completely separate. And I want to keep it separate, because I want to show people that I can act [and be someone] other than myself. I want to show people that I can live in another world besides this one. So that's why I want to keep the music separate from this right now.
TVGuide.com: To get to know your character, Calvster, a little better before the show's premiere, what are some of his key traits, or some of the biggest differences between yourself and Calvster?
Flav: You know, it's not really that much of a difference, because Calvster Hill, he's an ex-con from the streets who just got out of jail [after] doing time for his brother. I've done time before in real life, so I feel that this role is not too hard for me to play. [Laughs] It's just not Flavor Flav playing it now, this is William Drayton playing Calvster Hill.
TVGuide.com: What else can you tell us about the arc of your character's story on the show? Is there any romance we should know about?
Flav: Well, I can't say too much. What's really going to bring me ratings is the suspense of it all. And another thing that's going to bring me ratings [is that] people are going to wonder, 'Can Flavor Flav really do this?' They're going see Flavor Flav in another light.
TVGuide.com: What will be your next chapter, then? What's ticking in the brain of Flavor Flav?
Flav: Honestly, I feel my next chapter will be movies, and I'm putting together a band right now…. [As for the show], the only thing you all need to know is that it is funny, it is off the meat rack, it is off the chain and you gotta be with me on April 16 when this thing comes on the air! I want everybody to see what I'm talking about. You're not going want to turn it off.
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