Mike Epps talks new projects, career, family and media on “The Madd Hatta Morning Show” via 97.9’s ‘The Box’.
Mike Epps built his career on the foundation of a multi-faceted construct. He is no stranger to the fame game, acknowledging that metamorphosis is crucial in the entertainment industry. From big-screen hits to sold-out standup, Epps continues to reinvent himself. His versatility has allowed him to master his craft and maintain marketability.
The first topic addressed, was the kangaroo in the room (metaphorically speaking). Earlier this month, Epps found himself in hot water surrounding allegations of a kangaroo being ‘mishandled’ on-stage during his Detroit comedy show. After issuing a sincere public apology, Epps continued to face backlash from some fans and media outlets. Clarifying his stance as an avid animal lover, Mike stood by his apology. “I love animals, I didn’t want to offend nobody ‘cause I am an animal lover [I’ve visited kangaroo sanctuaries in Australia].” Epps didn’t want to see others upset by the actions that transpired on stage, affirming that he often volunteers his time,“Three weeks before, I was in Indianapolis at the Colts Compound, where we found 5 puppies in a garbage can. We took those puppies and found them homes.” Epps admitted that the media portrayal was disheartening, but accepts it as part of the spotlight.
Despite the negative media attention, Epps continues to stay on his grind. He has recently wrapped up filming, “Acts of Violence” and “Death Wish” opposite Bruce Willis. He also revealed an upcoming movie with co-star T.I., “The Trap” to begin filming in May 2017.
On a personal note, Epps emphasized the importance of family, providing for his girls, and what being a father means to him. “I built a legacy for my kids. I’m trying to build something for my third generation, so I got to keep rollin’.”
No man becomes more honest, than in the moment you ask them to open-up about parenthood. Epps approaches the topic with a big heart and intense clarity.
“I had to clean my act up. Cause I didn’t want my daughter going trying to find me. I’m like, ‘Oh no, this is not who you want to be with right here’…Some situations, you can’t deal with it. You know, life is its own experience. I had to let my daughter bump her head and see what it’s like. Now I’m still there for her, but she had to learn her own life lessons. I said, ‘Hey you bumped your head but I still love you, I’m still here for you, whatever you need – I’m there for you.”
Mike Epps is a respected actor, comedy star and inspiration to communities nationwide. But, behind-the-scenes, he represents so much more. To those who truly know him, he’s a loving father, grandfather, friend, son and grandson.
Although life on the road isn’t easy, it’s a lifestyle that Epps has grown accustomed to. “I stay busy. I like to be in a lot of different environments, with a lot of different elements, breaking bread with a lot of different people.” For Mike, his career is more than creating wealth for his family, it’s his mode of self-expression.
It’s easy to lose sight of the human being behind the actor on screen; the comedian on stage; the celebrity on social media. Those portrayals are merely facades. It is important we take the time to recognize humanity, in its truest form, when we see it.
Epps kept it 💯 with ‘Madd Hatta’ when asked if he reads into social media hate.“They on Instagram talking ‘bout me anyway. Let me tell you something, you gotta have some thick skin to be on that joint,” said Mike. “Sometimes I read my comments and there’s 5 or 6 people giving me all this positive (feedback). There’s one dude will ruin my whole day. He’ll say something like, ‘You be too old to be dressing like that, take them lil’ pants off’, ‘Mike we ain’t seen you in a movie in 30 years, where you been?’. They go hard! Sometimes they make you erase it. One comment will make you erase the whole picture.” Even the Hatter seemed surprised with Mike’s response, mentioning Epps’ thick skin. The comedy star let out an honest laugh, “Man, don’t nobody like it (the hate), nobody like it. I dish it out and I can take it, you know what I’m saying, but still, some days…”
We all have the inherent desire for acceptance. Witnessing moments of brutal honesty and self-reflection instantly makes us more relatable. Unbeknownst to Epps, that is exactly what he has done, simply by living his truth. When asked about the recent death of fellow comedian, Charlie Murphy, Epps paid tribute to the star with nothing but positive praise.
“Charlie Murphy, man. That was a heavy loss right there in the comedy game. But you know, when I think about death, and I think about certain ones, Charlie Murphy’s alright. He had a great spirit, and he left us with a lot of laughs and a lot of memories, and we gonna celebrate Charlie. Everybody is usually mourning and crying and stuff, but that was a real dude. If Charlie was sitting right here, or if we could speak to Charlie, and we asked him about what happened, he’d say, ‘Man don’t even worry about nothing. I got everything right here’…So we gonna celebrate.”
Mad Hatta wrapped up the interview with final statement that served as a true testament to Epps’ character.
“Mike, we’ve seen you so much over the years. And you’ve always been such a humble gentleman, I just wanted to say that. I don’t know if ya’ll know, but a lot of times, when cats walk in, there’s some kind of controversy brewing. First thing they [or their handler] will say is, ‘Hey man, don’t ask me none of those questions.’ But, it was cool. Mike walked right in and said, ‘Hey, everything is on the table. Whatever you feel you gotta ask, it’s there man, do what you gotta do.”
And that’s just Mike.
Watch the exclusive, full interview with ‘The Madd Hatta Morning Show” on 97.9’s ‘The Box’ here:
You can also catch Mike Epps on the remaining dates of his Festival of Laughs comedy tour, performing LIVE in St. Louis, Milwaukee, Dallas and Memphis!