LOS ANGELES — Black Eyed Peas frontman will.i.am wants to make movies. For now, though, he’ll settle for making his big-screen debut in “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.”
If only he could bring himself to watch it.
“I’m nervous to see my performance,” said the self-described “X-Men” fan. “My participation in it automatically lends itself to: That dude messed the film up.”
Will.i.am plays Wraith, a teleporter who befriends Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) during a mutant military mission to Africa. Years later, Wolverine tracks down his pal at a nondescript boxing gym in Las Vegas and the two take off on a fact-finding adventure.
Jackman, also a producer on the movie, said will.i.am was the perfect choice for the role because he and Wraith have something in common.
“I thought it was a great way for him to come into movies because both of them are the coolest cats on the planet,” Jackman said. “What Will has that’s unmistakable is screen presence.”
Still, the 34-year-old stylish beatsmith with the slight build was nervous about taking on the superhero role. He expected “to enter the world of acting by way of writing and directing,” he said, not by jumping in on the latest installment of a successful, big-budget franchise.
He clocked more screen time than he expected. (“It ain’t like a cameo,” he said.)
Plus, he’s such a follower of the “X-Men” films, he considered declining the role “because I just wanted to enjoy ‘Wolverine’ as a fan.”
In the end, he put his trust in Jackman and director Gavin Hood to make his acting debut sing. That meant relinquishing the artistic control that he typically has when he writes and produces hits for the Black Eyed Peas, Justin Timberlake, Carlos Santana, The Pussycat Dolls and U2.
“This film showed me what I’m capable of doing, and I’m capable of letting go,” he said. “Now I’ve got to let go and watch it. I know it’s going to be dope, I just don’t know if I’m going to be that dope.”
“X-Men Origins: Wolverine” will be released Friday.
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