[artist id=”2002414″]Ne-Yo[/artist] has played it safe thus far in his burgeoning film career, opting to appear in films like “Stomp the Yard” that have kept him on the familiar ground of music and dance. Now the R&B singer is trying to bust out of that mold with two military roles, portraying a World War II fighter pilot in the George Lucas-backed “Red Tails” and a Marine corporal in 2011’s sci-fi flick “Battle: Los Angeles.”
As Ne-Yo himself attests, these two movies will show the world — and himself — whether he’s actually a decent actor. “We gonna see if I got any chops,” he told MTV News. “I don’t know. I’ll let y’all be the judge, how about that?”
The decision to expand beyond dance movies, the singer explained, stemmed from his desire to embrace acting as a career separate from his music. “I told myself, if I’m going to be an actor, I want to be an actor, meaning that you can’t just limit yourself to one genre of film,” he said. ” ’Stomp the Yard,’ as cool as it was, it was very, very similar to what I do already. I’m a dancer/singer by profession. I needed to step outside of me and do something that really showed off whether or not I could really act.”
“Battle: Los Angeles” follows a platoon of Marines fighting off a horde of invading aliens on the city streets. It also stars Aaron Eckhart, Michelle Rodriguez, Bridget Moynahan and “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” star Ramon Rodriguez. Shooting began in Shreveport, Louisiana, in September, with an eye on a release date in early 2011.
“We are doing our best to do something that hasn’t been done before,” director Jonathan Liebesman told MTV News in March. “This is like [’Bourne Supremacy’ director] Paul Greengrass got a camera, saw some aliens and shot it from the point of view of a platoon. It’s literally like ’Black Hawk Down,’ if there were aliens in there. Like Iraq war footage, but with aliens running around.”
And so far, Ne-Yo thinks things are going well with his foray into the world of action flicks. “It’s coming along nicely,” he said with a smile. “It’s one of them big budget joints.”
Check out everything we’ve got on “Battle: Los Angeles.”
For breaking news, celebrity columns, humor and more — updated around the clock — visit MTVMoviesBlog.com.