Actor and producer Jackie Long recently talked with rolling out about his passion for acting and who inspired him throughout his career. Long, who has been in hit movies such as ATL, Idlewild and The Comebacks, discussed his strategy for staying at the top of his game, and what he has been up to since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
How do you feel about acting versus producing?
Totally separate things. I love acting more than anything, I love working. Producing is working, but you can be a producer and just put it all together, you don’t have to do anything, just get a check. You know some producers are dead, but some producers are really all into it. Acting, there is nothing the world better than that. You know, it’s just, that’s what I love. I don’t care to do other stuff. I will, but I don’t care to make nothing else number one over that.
Where does your love for acting come from?
I think I just love to entertain. I love people watching me and critiquing me on something or telling me how good I was or how bad I was, whichever one it was. It’s all a learning game and a lesson to me. So I’m looking at it more as a challenge, to challenge myself, like, Can I do this role? Can I do this voice, this accent? can I do whatever it is because it’s a challenge. You see acting and watch it and think that looks so hard or it looks so easy, but at the end of the day is extremely hard.
So what’s the most challenging role that you’ve had?
This battle rap movie that I did, produced by Eminem and directed by Joseph Kahn. It was a battle rap movie and I had to really battle rap and learn all these lines. I couldn’t add anything to it or couldn’t improv, and it was like at least three pages of work. So it was hard; it was definitely a challenge.
Are there any specific actors or actresses that you looked up to over your career as role models?
I always liked, of course, Eddie Murphy, Martin Lawrence growing up, Denzel [Washington]. Martin and Eddie Murphy were probably who inspired me first like, I want to do this because these dudes just make people laugh on TV. Murphy was making all this money just being amazing. So they would probably be my biggest motivation. I love Denzel and Daniel Day Lewis, Meryl Streep, and stuff like that. I have new favorite actors in today’s time, but my classic OG is the top dog, Daniel Day Lewis. Those are my people I look up to [who] keep me motivated to this day. They still motivate me.