2011 has been a big year for Tyrese Gibson. His book, “How to Get Out of Your Own Way” hit the New York Times bestseller list, his upcoming album, “Open Invitation” arrives on November 1st and he’s starred in two of the summer’s most successful summer blockbusters, Transformers: Dark of the Moon and Fast Five, the latter of which hits Blu-ray and DVD this week.
ComingSoon.net caught up with the multi-talented star to talk about his return to the role of Roman Pearce, whose previous last appearance in the “Fast and the Furious” franchise had been 2003’s 2 Fast 2 Furious. Fans shouldn’t worry about him going away again anytime soon, though, as Gibson talks about how Pearce will be returning for Fast Six, hopefully going in production in April of 2012 with a release planned for May 24, 2013.
CS: I guess I should start with some congratulations. You’re in two of the biggest movies of the year and an album coming out soon.
Tyrese Gibson: Oh, man, I’m on an all-time high, sir. It’s unreal. Everything has just somehow ended up this way. Even the book, man, is a New York Times bestseller. My book, “How to Get Out of Your Own Way.” It’s all unreal. It’s one of the best years of my life.
CS: Well definitely congrats. Moving into “Fast Five,” did you have any idea that it might be as well received as it ended up?
Gibson: To be honest, man, the energy felt big while we were on the set. Vin Diesel and “The Rock” Johnson and all the other stars of the film – those guys have a big following and big supporters. You get that energy out there and I was glad that none of the egos and politics kicked in while we were doing our thing. Vin Diesel is number one on the call sheet. It’s his franchise with Paul Walker. You’ve got “The Rock” Johnson coming in and even myself, bringing some funny and some energy. None of this could have happened if any egos and pride had kicked in. It’s a salute to the team and the director and the producers and everybody that helped organize the whole thing.
CS: That seems like a really interesting balance because, while you can’t have any ego as an actor, Roman carries a lot of it in his character.
Gibson: Yeah, the character is, but some folks don’t know how to jump out of character.
CS: What’s the process going onto the set? How do you channel Roman?
Gibson: My character is pretty simple, man. He’s pretty straightforward for me. Roman just gets uncomfortable often and, when he gets uncomfortable, he kind of expresses it through being funny. He reminds me of “Beverly Hills Cop.” That character was always about saying funny things in the wrong scenarios. It’s like, “Why are you saying that right now?” That’s what my character is all about. We kind of found all that stuff on-set and there’s so much stuff you can do with it.
CS: Was there anything in particular that you wanted to have happen to Roman or get to do as an actor when you agreed to have him come back?
Gibson: Everything that we talked about it why I agreed to come back. I wanted to make sure my character was played up a bit. I didn’t want him to just fall into the background. I wanted him to have some moments that added to the mission. These things were achieved, you know? Once you know that it’s Vin Diesel and Paul Walker’s film franchise, you know that the movie is going to be about them. We’re kind of the assistants on the mission.
CS: One of the fun things about Roman is that he instantly has a unique dynamic with every member of the cast.
Gibson: (Laughs) I try my best, sir!
CS: One of the things that seems really cool that both you and Vin Diesel do is interact with the fans. He’s very into his Facebook group, moderating it himself and you’re very interactive on Twitter.
Gibson: Yeah, in fact I might be meeting up with Vin tonight to talk about different things that we should be doing together with this social media. It’s all about communication and figuring out what to do. With the Blu-ray and the DVD and all this money and “Open Invitation” on November 1st, I could definitely use some energy with however many million people he’s got on Facebook along with the folks that I’ve got on my Twitter and Facebook.
CS: Since you’re already working in so many art forms, is there thought of stepping to the other side of the camera and directing at all?
Gibson: To be honest, I think that the director bug will hit me one day, but I have to become way more knowledgeable about different camera lens sizes and all the different technical things that come with directing. It’s one thing to have visions and ideas and to know how to work with actors and another to know exactly how to capture it. That’s what I want to do one day. We’ll see what happens.
CS: Coming up, are you getting ready for “Fast Six”?
Gibson: Yeah, hopefully that gets going in April. We’ll see what happens.
CS: Anything in particular that you want to see happen to Roman?
Gibson: I just want to see him be more of a key player. I want to see him making some of the decisions as far as missions and things that we’re doing. To feel a little more part of the mission. Instead of having orders thrown my way, I’d like to take the lead and decide what we need to do.
CS: There were rumors back during the release of “Fast Five” that “Fast Six” would head to Europe. Is that still the case?
Gibson: Hopefully! I wouldn’t mind getting out of here for awhile.
CS: What else would you like to do outside of these franchises that have been so big for you? Is there a dream role for you?
Gibson: Yeah, there’s a few things. I’ve written about seven different screenplays and sold about five of the seven. They’re all in development hell right now, but there’s a lot of ideas. I’m looking around at TV. A lot of actors are doing TV right now. I’m about to write another book with Rev. Run called “Manology.” As far as roles, I want to do a real character piece. I want to do a role where I get to play someone. That way I get to remove all my own instincts and habits and just completely submerge myself in the role. We just locked up the life rights for the story of Teddy Pendergrass. Before he passed away, I was like his son. He really took me under his wing. I was the best man at his wedding and I was also a pallbearer. It was like what Jamie Foxx did with “Ray.” He spent a lot of time with Ray Charles before he passed on. Same scenario. It’s movies like this that I’m really looking to try and step up and make people realize that I do have a little more in me than they probably would have guessed.
CS: How do you balance your time between all these projects? Do you just work when the inspiration strikes you or do you have to set aside, “Today I’m working on a book.” “Today I’m doing a screenplay.”
Gibson: I’ve always multitasked really well. If it’s scheduled, I’m gonna show up. That’s just the way it is. The crazy thing is, a lot of this stuff could have been done faster, believe it or not. That’s just kind of me. I could have finished my album much faster, but I was creating delays for myself. But I’m still really proud. This is my best R&B album to date.
Fast Five hits Blu-ray and DVD this Tuesday, October 4th. You can follow Tyrese Gibson on Twitter @Tyrese.