Edwin Freeman has appeared in the films such as “My Super Ex-Girlfriend” and the “Inside Man.” But, his most recent role came as Mister Cee in the film “Notorious” about the life of late rapper the Notorious BIG.
We sat down with the actor for a brief discussion about his role as Mister Cee.
BallerStatus.com: For those who may not be familiar with Mister Cee, can you tell us who Mister Cee was and why his character was important to be included in the film?
Edwin Freeman: Mister Cee is responsible for discovering Christopher Wallace (aka Biggie Smalls) and introducing him to Sean Combs (aka Puff Daddy) through a friend at The Source magazine. He also served as an Associate Executive Producer for Biggie’s debut album Ready to Die. It was important for the character of Mister Cee to be included in the film because through Mister Cee, you get to see Christopher Wallace make the transition from a street hustler who rapped, to being a professional rap artist.
BallerStatus.com: How did you prepare for the role of Mister Cee?
Edwin Freeman: What I did to prepare for the role of Mister Cee was, watch videos of him when he used to DJ for Big Daddy Kane back in the days, so that I could learn his mannerisms, how he walked, how he held his head, his posture, and I also listened to him every day on the radio in New York City to learn his tone of voice. Being that I didn’t have the honor of meeting him before filming began, I had to use other resources.
BallerStatus.com: Without giving too much away, what would you say is the most pivotal moment in the film?
Edwin Freeman: The most pivotal moment in the film is when Biggie Smalls meets Mister Cee in his friend’s basement studio. It was there that Mister Cee hears him rap for the first time and makes him an offer that he couldn’t refuse. It was at that moment that a bond was formed that would change the course of his (Biggie Smalls) life.
BallerStatus.com: In which ways do you feel the film will help people who may not have been familiar with Biggie Smalls aside from his rap career, get a better understanding of who he was as a person?
Edwin Freeman: The film shows Biggie as a son, a husband, a father and a friend to those who knew and loved him best. We get to see his human side. Prior to the film, fans weren’t privy to seeing that side of him. That’s what’s so great about the film.
BallerStatus.com: What do you feel was Biggie Small’s greatest accomplishment in the hip-hop culture, and how do you feel this accomplishment changed hip-hop?
Edwin Freeman: Biggie came straight out of Brooklyn to take the world of rap music by storm. He showed the entire hip-hop generation that no matter what obstacles you may be facing. If you stay focused and work hard, you could achieve your goals. In hip-hop today, we have more young label owners and entrepreneurs than ever before. I believe this is due to the sacrifices that Biggie made and the doors that he helped open.
BallerStatus.com: Why do you feel Biggie Small’s legacy is as prominent today as it was in the 90s?
Edwin Freeman: I feel that the reason why Biggie Small’s Legacy is so prominent today, as it was in the 90s is because the things that he rapped about — the cars that he drove, the jewelry that he wore. Nobody has rapped about anything different since he came on the scene rapping about what he rapped about. He was a creative individual who was way ahead of his time. When we lost him, we lost a gem.
BallerStatus.com: What would you say is the reason for Biggie Small’s international appeal?
Edwin Freeman: Biggie Small’s story is a universal story, no matter where you’re from in the world. If you’re human, you can relate to him and his music. He was a genuine person who used the art form of hip-hop to connect with people all around the world.
BallerStatus.com: The film has done very well since its release. What would you say is the reason for the film being such a success?
Edwin Freeman: I believe that this is due to the fact that, this is a story that a lot of people want to see and a lot of people can relate to, whether you’re black, white, Asian, young, old, male or female. There’s something in the film that you can relate to. I think that the writers, Reggie Rock Bythewood and Cheo Hodari Coker, did an excellent job of giving the story a universal appeal, as well as the director George Tillman Jr. and all of my fellow cast members.
BallerStatus.com: What can we expect from you in the future?
Edwin Freeman: Since the completion of the film, I’ve been getting a lot of calls from directors and producers who want me to be a part of their projects, so I’ve been taking my time, reading scripts and being selective about the roles that I want to take on. That’s the blessing of being a part of a film of this magnitude, it gives me the liberty of being more selective in the roles that I take on, instead of just jumping out there and doing any and everything that comes my way. It gives me the privilege of being in the driver’s seat of my career.
“Notorious” is currently available on Blu-ray and DVD. Order it on Amazon.com for $17.99.