Method Man Has His Eyes Set On Tamyra Gray

Rapper/actor ready for roles on 'Boston Public,' 'The Wire.'

Method Man says it won't be long before he and Redman start working together again, but first, the Ticallion Stallion wants to get in the studio with Tamyra Gray.

Don't expect the former "American Idol" finalist to appear on Meth's upcoming Tical 0: The Prequel later this year, though — Meth is joining the cast of "Boston Public" for a couple of episodes, where he'll have his eyes set on Gray's abused high school student character Aisha.

"I play a record producer who's trying to sign [Tamyra]," Meth said a couple of weeks ago in New York. He was readying himself to begin filming on the series a few days later. "They say I have a reputation for sleeping with young girls."

Meth will play an even less reputable character when he joins the ensemble cast of HBO's crime drama "The Wire" this summer.

"My character's name is Cheese," Meth said. "The name speaks for itself, he's about his cheese. He's a street aficionado. He's underneath the man. It's a dope character, he's about his paper. I'm not in any scenes with the original cast members right now. They're in one part of Baltimore, I'm on the other side. But I did get to meet Sonja Sohn."

Although Tical is loving the opportunities he's getting as a thespian, the wordsmith admits that not every role is for him.

"I take this acting thing as serious as I can take it, being an MC," he said. "Anything they put in front of me that I think I can handle, I'mma take it. I'm not gonna play a character I can't identify with. I'm never going to have to play a gay dude or take my clothes off on camera. I ain't stepping outside my range. A lot of times us as [rappers] want to do these movies so bad — I ain't got nothing against it — but a lot of times y'all taking these parts and y'all not holding it down. That's why people like Sam Jackson [have criticism]. When Will Smith [started acting], nobody was saying nothing. Even to a certain extent when LL was doing it, nobody was saying nothing. I guess it's all about paying dues and actually respecting this art form."

Meth's upcoming roles aren't going to be limited to the small screen. He's continuing to swing his Wu-Tang sword all over Hollywood. He'll appear as Anthony Anderson's wayward cousin this fall in the comedy "My Baby's Mama" with Eddie Griffin and Michael Imperioli of "The Sopranos," and there's talk of his entire musical Clan appearing in "Scary Movie 3." Ghostface Killah has already inked his deal.   

Meanwhile, Method Man and Redman are going to begin their next buddy picture in June — they'll play two federal agents in Universal's "DEA."

"They're putting some money into this one," Meth said with a smile. "It's more than $12 million. That's how much they paid for the last one and it made $33 million. Woooo!"

The "last one" he was referring to is 2001's collegiate comedy "How High." And when Meth says "last one," he really means it.

"Will there be a 'How High Part 2'? No," he scoffed. "We got so much flack over the first one 'cause it was a drug movie. I don't need the headache."

Meth and Red's collaboration will be spilling over from the movie studio to the recording studio. The artist also known as Johnny Blaze said once he and his homie finish their respective solo albums (see "Method Man Hopes To Team Up With ODB On New LP; Records Again With M.J.B."), which are both due later this year, they'll once again make an LP together. They already have a title in mind, too: B.A.S.I.C., an acronym for Bricks and Staten Island Connected.

For a full-length feature on Method Man, check out "Method Man: From Fronts To Furs."