Missy Elliott is a legendary MC, but in a new Super Bowl ad, she hands the reins to her new (and surprising) protégé: Morgan Freeman.
Ahead of the game on Sunday, February 4 (during which the ad will air on NBC), Missy Elliott talked to EW about the battle, the incredible Super Bowl audience, and why rappers should be scared of a new player in the game.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How did you get involved with Mountain Dew?
MISSY ELLIOTT: I am a drinker of Mountain Dew for real for real, actually. And when they said who the players were, I was like, how can you turn down something so epic? When you think about Morgan and Peter rhyming, it’s historical in itself. And Busta is like family to me. So yeah, I immediately said yeah.
Had you met Morgan before this?
No, but I’m a big Morgan fan. I mean, I don’t know too many people that’s not, actually.
What was it like working with him?
I mean, Morgan — look, as you can see, Morgan is amazing at everything that he does. We thought that he was just an actor, but clearly you see that he’s coming for the rappers’ spot too! We all should be a little scared right now! Morgan and Peter, actually.
In the commercial he’s rapping one of your most iconic songs [“Get Your Freak On”]. What was it like for you to see that all come together?
Oh man, amazing. It was amazing. I did that record years ago and I couldn’t imagine in a million years that over a decade and some change later that it would be part of a Super Bowl commercial. I couldn’t imagine that. I couldn’t tell you that, “Oh, this is going to be a part of a Super Bowl commercial in 2018.” Like, no! But it was amazing to see.
You and Morgan face off against Busta Rhymes and Peter Dinklage. Are you a Game of Thrones fan? What was it like going up against them?
Oh, see, going up against Peter – first of all, everybody watches Game of Thrones, clearly. A lot of people – I have a lot of friends that are most definitely Game of Thrones fans. So, for me, I’m just like, “Look, we gotta beat them!” And then, because the record that Peter rhymed to was, like, a tongue twister! So that Peter knows the words to this tongue twister rhyme is epic in itself. But I love a friendly competition. You know, at the end of the day…it’s still a battle. So, Team Freeman over here!
I was gonna ask, do you feel like there was a winner at the end of the day?
I mean, I think we all was winners in this whole thing. All the players, you know, that was in the commercial, and both brands are winners, I think.
The Super Bowl commercials are talked about almost more than the actual game itself, and now you’ve performed in the Super Bowl and you’ve done this awesome commercial. How does it feel to reach out to that Super Bowl audience?
It is amazing. I mean, of course people have always waited to see the Super Bowl commercials. I think when I got a chance to perform for the Super Bowl, I realized the number of people that watched. Just when you think you’ve reached so many people, you realize you haven’t, until you’re part of the Super Bowl. It’s like, wow. Now that’s a whole ‘nother audience. I’m always just honored and feel blessed to be a part of it. So I most definitely feel blessed to be part of this epic-ness that’s happening right now for this commercial.
About this Super Bowl, it’s the Eagles vs. Patriots. Do you have a horse in the race?
No. I’ve learned in my career, unless I’m a true true true football fan, I’d rather not say because I have friends and cousins and stuff that would probably curse me out if I pick the wrong team! So I choose – nahh, I mean, may the best man win!