Common Brings ‘LUV’ To Sundance

Sundance represents an opportunity to '[push] forward with Common as an actor and as a producer,' the rapper tells MTV News.

PARK CITY, Utah — When you’re making your debut as a producer and lead actor in a feature film, it doesn’t hurt to surround yourself with stellar actors like Danny Glover, Charles S. Dutton, Dennis Haysbert and Michael K. Williams. With talent like that on your side, it’s nearly impossible not to produce good work.

That’s Common‘s hope, at least. The rapper/actor makes his first turn as a leading man in a feature film in “LUV,” the Sundance Film Festival drama about an ex-con who leaves prison and strives to mentor his troubled nephew upon release. The film represents a lot of firsts for Common: It’s his first starring role and it’s the first movie he’s ever acted in and produced to appear at Sundance.

“This is something that is me,” Common told MTV News at the fest. “And it’s a part of what I want to do pushing forward with Common as an actor and as a producer.”

The Chicago MC is no stranger to appearing onscreen, of course. He’s had memorable roles in movies like “Wanted” and “Terminator Salvation,” and he stars on the AMC western “Hell on Wheels.” But this is Common’s first time in an independent movie, and the differences between the indie world and the studio system became abundantly clear to him very early on.

“Things are just different. But what’s still cool about it is you’re really using your artistic creativity to come together and make the best thing, because you don’t have that many resources,” he said. “You don’t have the bigger budgets, you don’t have the things that [studio films have]. You need to use total creativity to make things rise.

“So this is a first for me — and it’s a great first,” he added.

The 2012 Sundance Film Festival is officially under way, and the MTV Movies team is on the ground reporting on the hottest stars and the movies everyone will be talking about in the year to come. Keep it locked with MTV Movies for everything there is to know about Sundance.

Likes pizza, punch and pie. Dislikes the Chitauri. Find him on Twitter @roundhoward — like Ron Howard, but rounder.