Luis: Do you remember Harry Caray?
Luis: So you’re not a baseball fan?
Ice-T: I am, but I don’t remember Harry Caray. But he got a big head.
Luis: Did you have a hard time getting some rappers to open up on camera?
Ice-T: Some would tell stories and might hold back a little. I’d be like “C’mon, man.” They’d be like “Oh, you want the real?” Another thing about me dealing with the old school rappers, you see a lot of humility. When you’re new, nothing is wrong. Everything is tight. Because you’re trying to hype the world into believing in you. You can’t talk about mistakes. Once you’ve kind of done it and are doing your victory lap, you say “Man, I almost lost over there when this happened” and “Oooh, I thought it was over here.” That’s the funny stuff to hear about. That’s what makes other people inspired, like “Man, this wasn’t easy for them.” Like Eminem says, when you hit the wall, it’s how fast you come back.
Luis: Have you seen Fred Armisen’s impersonation of you on “Saturday Night Live”?
Ice-T: I’ve never seen it. I heard about it. I’m glad they think I’m important enough that they would be able to do an impersonation of me and that the audience would know who I am. You can’t do an impersonation of somebody nobody knows. ... They’re comedians, so it’s all good with me.
Luis: What does it say about you that you didn’t rush to your computer to see it?
Ice-T: I don’t know why I would. I’m doing this interview — I’ll never read it. I’ll be in another city. You can’t just follow yourself like that. I don’t need to read this. I know what I said. I lived it. Other people need to read it because they’re not here. Like when somebody gives a review of my concert, I’m like “I know this (expletive) was hot, so I don’t give a (expletive) what they said. I saw the people jumping off in the front row.” But with the movie, I need to know people’s response because I’m not there. ... We haven’t gotten one bad review. The only thing people say is they didn’t see their favorite rapper. My reply is “Well, don’t worry about that. Your favorite rapper’s favorite rapper is in the movie.”
Luis: Do you feel your reputation has changed because of your “Ice Loves Coco” reality show?
Ice-T: Absolutely. C’mon, they thought I was a serial killer. People think I’ll kill you if you make a joke. I compare it to Clint Eastwood. I’ve only seen Clint Eastwood in movies. You think if you make a joke to Eastwood, he might shoot you. But that’s his film persona. The other side of it is people go, “Oh, so everything else was an act.” The best way I explain it to them is “You not my enemy. I’m a nice guy if there’s no reason for me to be arrogant or an (expletive). If there was a problem, then you’d see the other Ice-T.”
Luis: I remember you playing a really evil guy on “New York Undercover.” I hated you.
Ice-T: Danny-Up. Smacking little kids like “BOW!” That’s how I ended up on “Law & Order.” I’ve done five shows with Dick Wolf. God bless him. He paid for a lot of (stuff).
Luis: He’s filming a show in Chicago right now. It’s a firefighter show.
Ice-T: “Chicago Fire.” I met with the producer of “Chicago Fire” — we went out to dinner. I leaned over like this and said, “If anything happens to ‘SVU,’ I’m a fire captain.” Hey, man, I’m like a monkey. You don’t let go of one branch until you get a hold of the other.
Luis: Those are all my questions. I’ll let you eat up.
Ice-T: I’m done.
Luis: How was your food?
Luis: But you wanted a hot dog.
Ice-T: It’s nothing. You can’t get what you want all the time in life.