"Let’s Be Cops" star Damon Wayans, Jr. explains how to act around the boys in blue to avoid fines, lockup, and death via AIDS knives.
Damon Wayans Jr. isn’t a cop. The 31-year-old actor hasn’t even played one. In his new comedy, Let’s Be Cops, he plays a guy who’s only pretending to be 5-0 for kicks with his boy (played by Damon's New Girl co-star Jake Johnson). He has had his fair share of run-ins with the heat, though, so he's perfectly qualified to advise you on how to handle yourself when the law is sticking its square jaw in your face. So, listen, or assume the position.
When can you talk to cops without losing your street cred?
Maybe if they’re your parents? Even then I would be careful. Jake [Johnson] and I did a ride along for Let’s Be Cops—which was odd and unnecessary because our characters are only pretending to be cops—and it was one of the most uncomfortable experiences of my life. They busted at least seven crackheads; they’d take their pipe, throw it on the ground, and crush it in front of homie, and we saw how sad the crackheads got, like, “You know how much dick I had to suck to get that crack?” The cops told gangbangers and crackheads that we were training to be cops, but we’re just actors, little pussy actors. People don’t like cops. What am I going to do if I cross paths with that guy I watched get his crack pipe broken and dude remembers me and stabs me with an AIDS knife?
When a cop stops you, is it smart to name-drop famous, powerful people you know?
Not with the people that I know. People I know already got arrested before. You can’t be like, “Ay, man, Chris Brown is my—wait a minute. But Lil Wayne is my—oh, hold on.” And nobody likes to hear names dropped. You sound like a douchebag. Cop or non-cop, I would shoot a person if they tried to drop a name on me. That is how you will go to jail, like, “Uh, do you know who my dad is?” Even though I have gotten out of six tickets in my life because cops legitimately thought I was my father. I give them my license, they see we have the same name, and they’re like, “Whoa, dude, you look great. Black don’t crack, huh?” I feed into that, like, “Hey, man, Homey don’t play that!”
How can you look innocent to cops?
Listen to your radio loud and really get into the music. The thug-ier you look, the pop-ier your music has to be. The cops will be like, “Oh wow, this guy. His look is thug but he’s listening to One Direction.”
Where is the best place to hide illegal substances if you get pulled over?
Your butt, for sure. That’s your body’s glove compartment. It’s like another pocket—the chocolate pocket.
Is using your phone to film cops a good way to keep them in check?
I wouldn’t suggest pulling your phone out. Cops have mistaken plenty of wallets and phones for guns. And my wallet is my phone. I have one of those phones that’s in a wallet, so I’m double fucked. Plus, my wallet’s shaped like a gun.