Though Common plays a former slave in the AMC channel’s Hell On Wheels, he refuses to be shackled by limits. With Sunday’s (August 12) season premier showcasing his new direction, he explained how his role is developing beyond the slave narrative.
“Where we’re going in season 2 it’s growing with more depth,” he told Hot 93.7‘s DJ Buck and Nancy B. “You realize it’s not about being just a former slave but these are people you are dealng with and they arew going through the same stuff we are going through now.”
In the series, Common plays Elam Ferguson, an emancipated slave. Common promises more depth this season.
“Ive been through all this persecution and hard times, the course black people have experienced in America,” Common said of his character. “It was a lot of built up frustration, being oppressed.”
Playing a freed slave of mixed race, hits very close to home, according to Common.
“When you’re on that set and dealing with situations and what the character is going through, It takes you there,” he said. “It hits your soul.”
Season 2 promises lots of emotion, as Ferguson continues his controversial relationship with Eva, a white prostitute. Viewers will see the struggles of their relationship continue, but Common hints that they will gain an even deeper connection in the face of hardship.
“A black man and a white woman, during those times, spells trouble,” he said. “But they say love conquers all, so who knows?”
As for the response from fans?
“People tweeted me like, ‘How you fall in love with a prostitute?'” he joked. “But man, they need love too.”
The rapper/actor also appears in the new Disney flick The Odd Life of Timothy Green. Go here to listen to the entire interview, in which he he talks about the new film, his connection to Kanye West and G.O.O.D; and his support of Serena Williams’ Crip-walking controversy. —Bill Sencio, CBS Local