Bow Wow Talks "Lottery Ticket", Music, Girls and More!
You might have first heard of hottie Shad Moss AKA Bow Wow when he was rapper Lil Bow Wow, named by rap icon Snoop Dogg. After hitting it big on the charts, Bow Wow was tapped by Hollywood for parts in Like Mike and, later, Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift, Roll Bounce, Johnson Family Vacation and more. Now, in the dramady film Lottery Ticket, the cute 23-year-old plays a multi-million winner trying to survive in the ’hood until he can pick up his winnings.
Kidzworld cozied up on the celly with "Bow" to learn that he really identifies with his character Kevin, has trouble finding a girl he can be "just friends" with, was surprised when ex-love Ciara turned up at his Atlanta premiere and, yes, has his 8th CD in the works. But right now, acting comes first. Come kick it with us…
Kidzworld: Do you remember how you felt right before you first hit it big, before you got that first big paycheck? Describe it.
Bow Wow: I thought it was gonna be a good thing but it turned out bad. It's really similar to [my character] Kevin in the movie. You have a kid comin' from nothin' and making it big and have all this money and power and everybody just wants a piece. In ways, that has its positive and negative effects.
Kidzworld: Did some so-called friends just suddenly surface and want to be close?
Bow Wow: Yeah. There are people along the way who just want to be around and be associated with you. They want to be in a position of power, too, or they want to feel important, and that's one thing that Kevin goes through. You've got to watch out for you, especially in that type of situation. I can definitely relate to it.
Kidzworld: Any incidents in your own life where girl gold-diggers tried to move in on you? How did you handle it?
Bow Wow: Most definitely. You have to have the proper teaching; somebody to tell you that because, if not, you'll get lost. There are so many guys that fall for the Nikki Swayzes in the world [Nikki is the gold-digger in the film]. A girl can be so beautiful and so captivating that she can pretty much use herself to get anything she wants. If the guy is vulnerable enough, he's wide open and she'll get everything. There's plenty of them out here in the world that want to be with the ball player or the rapper type so you've got to be careful.
Kidzworld: What made you decide you really wanted to make this film? What about it really connected with you?
Bow Wow: That I could really relate to Kevin. It was something that I could see myself playing. How I usually pick my roles is I always ask myself, “Would I go see this movie even if I wasn't in it?” If the answer is yes, then I know this is a movie I should do because I don't see nobody else playin' this role but me. I read [the script] the whole way back home to Miami and enjoyed it. I called my agent and said, “Yo, it's a go,” and next thing I know [Ice] Cube's on board and Mike Epps, Charlie Murphy…the list goes on and on.
Kidzworld: How did you come up with the little "happy dance" you do in the living room when you realize you've won the lottery? It was both cute and kinda nerdy.
Bow Wow: [laughs] A lot of people don't understand. That's who I really am! Nobody choreographed that. That's just me being Shad and having fun. Usually, when I act, I don't get a chance to be me. I'm always Bow Wow all the time and a lot of people don't know who Shad Moss really is and I think, in the movie when you see me goofin' like that, that's me. I'm a goofball. I like to play around and be a big kid.
Kidzworld: What did you do on the soundtrack for this movie?
Bow Wow: I contributed a record to it. It's My Hood with Sean Kingston and DJ Caillet. That's every entertainer's dream: to actually star in a movie and have the first song off the movie. That's a blessing.
Kidzworld: Ciara showed up for the Atlanta premiere for this movie. Are you two still tight as friends?
Ciara and Bow Wow
Bow Wow: I wouldn't say that but I definitely respect what she does and vice versa; if you ask her, she'd probably tell you the same. I was just as shocked as everybody else was. I'm happy that she came out and enjoyed the movie. I saw that she had tweeted about it so I hit her back and said, “Thanks, I definitely appreciate it.” I wish her the best of luck. We're growing older, we're maturing and we're adults and we're able to go to each other's events. We're not the only ex-couple I've seen support each other so it shows growth and it's all good.
Kidzworld: What was your favorite scene and why?
Bow Wow: Probably the roof scene [where Kevin is angry at his best friend and everyone for trying to muscle in on his potential lottery cash]. I have so many things in my past that I can get angry about just thinking about it, so love the more dramatic stuff. That's the easiest stuff to do.
Kidzworld: Is there now or was there ever a Sheri in your life; a female friend who stood by you when other girls were dissing you?
Bow Wow: It was always hard for me to have a female friend. They would always end up liking me. I'm sure an attractive woman would say the same thing. They say, “I'm not trying to have no guy, but every time I try to have my homeboy they always end up likin' me.” It's the same thing with me. It's always hard for me to have my homie, a girl who is just a homie. But, I'm fine right now in the space I'm in. I'm comfortable. I'm good.
Kidzworld: Is there a movie with Tyler Perry in your future or is that just a rumor?
Madea's Big Happy Family
Bow Wow: Oh, that's definitely true. It's Madea's Big Happy Family. I'm thrilled and excited to be workin' with Tyler Perry, Rubin Cannon and the entire Perry Studio family. We started like four days ago and, due to my schedule, they are allowing me to travel and promote this movie which is a blessing and I'm thankful so much for that. It's a blessing to go from Lottery Ticket to working with a legendary director who, every time he puts a movie out, it's gold.
Kidzworld: Kevin gives back to his neighborhood once he's wealthy. Do you have any charity you like to support?
Bow Wow: I'm always in a helping mood and I've done a lot of work with the Make a Wish Foundation, visiting kids and going into underprivileged areas. When I did the Walk Across America campaign I went to every ’hood in America just about on the East Coast and actually walked and got kids to register to vote and went to a lot of black colleges and that type of stuff.
Kidzworld: Would you ever want to play an action hero or superhero?
Bow Wow: Any one where I could take my shirt off and show the ladies. That's what I would want to do. I couldn't go wrong with either.
Kidzworld: What were you like at age 16 and who are you now?
Bow Wow: As a teen I was very arrogant and cocky. Now, I'm very humble and more mature. I've done very well with my patience. I think, if you have patience, you can make it through anything. That was what I had to work on most was becoming a better man and having patience.
Kidzworld: Is your 8th album coming out in December? Are you working again with Jermain Dupri[/kwlink] and is there an overall message to the music on that album?
Bow Wow: We don't have a title yet. As of right now it's slated for December but I'm not sure. I've been so focused on the acting thing I don't have time to focus on that. I haven't worked with Jermain yet on it but I'm hoping I'll get a chance to.
I'm taking my time with it. It's my first album with Cash Money. I want it to be totally different from anything before you've ever heard come from me. The songs will be deeper and in detail. I really want to touch the people and talk about things that the people can relate to. I want them to know I'm just like them and not too far off.
Lynn Barker, an editor and entertainment journalist for several websites, magazines and newspapers, has been active in the entertainment industry for many years.