Over the last year Kid Cudi has made quite a name for himself. He’s gone from the guy whose name no one could pronounce to three Grammy nominations and features on tracks with everyone from Jay-Z to Shakira. In a short time he’s achieved a lot in the music industry, and now he’s ready to show off his acting as Scott Mescudi.
“The fact that everybody is finally getting to see me act and stuff is part of my dream coming true. It’s just really dope, and people could see me be silly. My album was so deep and serious, and that was just me showing my dark side,” Cudi explained. “Acting is therapeutic — just being able to pretend to be somebody else for a little bit, it’s dope.”
The MC makes his acting debut in HBO’s new show “How to Make It in America.” The series centers on the two characters of Ben Epstein and Cam Calderon, played by Bryan Greenberg and Victor Rasuk, respectively, as they attempt to start their own fashion line. Cudi plays their friend Domingo Dean (he named the character after his two older brothers) who helps them along the way.
The show’s creator Ian Edleman approached Cudi one night and asked if he had ever considered acting.
“Of course I was like, ‘Yeah,’ but it was in the club and I was trashed. I didn’t necessarily take him seriously. Two days later he had his assistant send me a script and I was like, ‘Wow, this is dope. I would love to be a part of this.’ “
Cudi actually auditioned for the part while he was helping Kanye West on 808s & Heartbreak.
“I would dip away from sessions with Kanye and go rehearse my lines when nobody was around because I was very self-conscious and I didn’t want them to see me and make fun of me.”
“How to Make It” is executive-produced by the team behind HBO’s “Entourage”: Mark Wahlberg, Stephen Levinson, Rob Weiss and Julian Farino. The show takes place in New York, however, and its characters are far from A-list actors.
“I’m talking about these guys work a 9-to-5 — actually, one of them doesn’t even have a job. As the story goes along you see all of the hardships that they’ve had to go through in order to achieve their dreams,” Cudi said.
The show finds the cast bouncing all around the city from Brooklyn to the diverse art scene of Downtown to the upscale Upper East Side. The cast said that was one of the great payoffs of the show.
“What was great about shooting the show was, sometimes me as a native New Yorker, I’ll find spots and we’ll start shooting and I’ll say, ‘I’ve never even seen this place before. I never even heard of this place,’ ” Victor Rasuk offered.
“The cool thing about this show is, like, we’re shooting in the best locations in NYC — the best restaurants, the best clubs,” Greenberg said. “This is definitely one of the sets where all of my friends want to come visit.”
“How to Make It in America” premieres Sunday on HBO.