Nearly four months since releasing a brief teaser clip, Kid Cudi drops off a Halloween treat: A short horror film for the Shia Labeouf-directed "MANIAC," inspired by the Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager record of the same name. Watch the Cage-assisted thriller now.
EXCLUSIVE: Kid Cudi talks about working Shia LaBeouf, his character in MANIAC, and how he funded the short film in our bonus interview.
Click next page to see the bonus interview with Kid Cudi
Working With Shia LaBeouf
“Shia reached out to Cage—a good buddy of mine—and told him, ‘Hey, I wanna do a video for ‘Maniac.’’ Cage hit me up and told me and I was like, ‘Oh word. That’s crazy. Tell him to hit me up.’ So we talked about it and he gave me his idea and I loved it. I was like, ‘Whoa. This is so intense.’
“Shia initially had the storyboards drawn up and he showed them to me and I was like, ‘Whoa.’ I visualized what he was saying when he first told me the story but the look of the storyboards really made it clear for me.
Shia initially had the storyboards drawn up and he showed them to me and I was like, ‘Whoa.’ I visualized what he was saying when he first told me the story but the look of the storyboards really made it clear for me.
Then he started putting together his team and he had a lot of people on his side and in his corner that he trusted and I kind of took his word for it like, ‘Alright man if you trust these people then I trust them. ‘
“I know he wouldn’t have these people on his side if they weren’t really going to get the job done and we weren’t going to execute this project in a proper manner. It just came together within a matter of weeks of planning.
“This is a big step for me to be something completely different from Domingo Dean or my personal self and really show people what I can do on camera. At first, I was nervous about how people would respond to it but then I talked to Shia about it.
“We’re artists in our own right and this is our way of doing our artistry as far as acting goes and this is his way of doing something different as far as directing stuff. Shia’s really passionate about doing that. So it worked out well for the both of us.”
On His Character In The Video
“It was me creating the back story for this person in my mind. What you see just seems like senseless acts of crime happening but in my character’s mind it was always justified. When you watch it, it’s like, ‘Why are these things happening?’ You want answers but there’s no answers really given. When I was in character, it was always justified for me.
I literally transformed into this person. I didn’t talk much on set, didn’t crack many jokes, I kept to myself.
“When it came time to shoot, it was as real as possible and you were scared of this character. I literally transformed into this person. I didn’t talk much on set, didn’t crack many jokes, I kept to myself.
“It was really cold out there when we were filming in Detroit. We were in the middle of a blizzard and I kind of used that [Laughs.] to add to the character. I tried to become the scariest individual that I could possibly think of.
“I’m into horror films. I love horror movies and I wanted people to see my range as an actor. I wanted people to understand that I’m definitely taking this very seriously and I can deliver. I can really put myself in the mind frame of a character and be that character and deliver a real raw performance.”
On Funding The Video
“The whole thing cost a nice amount of money. We split it down the middle, paid for it ourselves and I didn’t have to ask the label for anything. It was like, ‘Alright, this is my baby. This is my little side project I’m doing which is completely separate from a music video kind of thing to promote a song.’ It was like, ‘This is really just a side project that I’m doing.’
“I had no problem with funding it myself. It was really like one of those things where the amount of money doesn’t matter to me. It was like, ‘How can we get it done?’ We got our money’s worth and I’m proud of it so money well spent.”
Speaking in French
“Shia had this idea that were kind of going to shoot it in France and then it was like, ‘Okay, let’s not shoot it in France. Let’s just speak French.’ I was like, ‘Okay cool. I’m with that.’ It just adds more shock value.
“It’s like, ‘Oh, what am I watching here?’ and it makes you feel like you’re so far from our regular selves that it allows you to see these people as characters rather that seeing us in the streets and being alarmed when you see us. [Laughs.] We really portraying characters.”