Mario Van Peebles discusses his directorial debut -- Actor tells EW about his turn behind the camera in ''New Jack City''

August 19, 2005 at 04:00 AM EDT

Van Peebles’ feature-film directorial debut, the hip-hop cop flick New Jack City, now out in a Special Edition(R, 101 mins., 1991, Warner), still looks baadasssss!

Despite the violence, NJC is a moral film.

My thing was not ”Can I make a hit movie?” It was ”Can I make a hit movie with a message?”

What was it Ice-T wanted you to call the movie?

”Killin’ Up S —.” [Laughs]He was dead serious, too.

The film juiced the careers of Wesley Snipes, Ice-T, and Chris Rock.

It did sort of create the viable black leading man. Up to that time we were still playing the comedic guy or the [white guy’s] best friend, never the Guy. I was able to make Wesley the Guy. Initially, he wanted to play the cop and Ice-T wanted to play the gangster. The key was to flip it.

What’s up with putting Color Me Badd’s ”I Wanna Sex You Up” video on the extras disc?

Wait — they put that on there?!

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