Q&A: Lights, Camera, Ad Rock! Beastie Boys’ Adam Horovitz on acting in While We're Young

Q&A: Lights, Camera, Ad Rock! Beastie Boys’ Adam Horovitz on acting in While We're Young

adrockwhilewereyoungIf you the very convincing, put upon, stay-at-home new dad in Noah Baumbach’s new film While We’re Young seems familiar, then you probably do know him. However, you’ll have never seen the actor in a role like this before. In fact, unless you possess a certain degree of fandom you probably won’t even have seen Adam Horovitz acting before. Yes, it’s that Adam Horovitz, AKA Beastie Boys' Ad Rock. With the film opening in UK cinemas on Friday (3 April), the rapper tells Q how he hit the big screen.

How are you doing? I’m doing good! I’m fantastic.

How did you get involved in While We’re Young? A burning ambition to act? [laughs] I’m old friends with the director. Noah is old friends with my sister so I invited him to see me play, I’m in a band with my friend Bridget [Everett], and afterwards we were having drinks and he asked me if I wanted to be in the movie.

So you bypassed the audition process? I was like “any movie”? And he said “No, my movie!” I told him I wouldn’t audition and he said: “No, I’m offering you a part in one of my movies!” So it was "Fuck Yeah! Of course!" He sent me the script the next day.

Don't take this the wrong way, but could you act – did you learn on the job? When I was in a couple of movies in the 80s I was winging it. But just before I did this my sister went “What’s your plan?” What plan?! I was going to wing it again. When she pointed out that was really stupid I spoke to my best friend who is an actor and then she helped me.

You’re playing a bit against what we expect of a Beastie Boy, a stay at home new dad. How much could you relate to the role? The character I’m playing in the movie is basically someone around might age, getting a bit older and coming to terms with being ok with the age that you are. There’s nothing to chase after. Chasing after the past is not going to lead you to the future you want.

How did find things on set? It wasn’t a goofy set where people were hanging out, pulling each other’s pants down. Noah runs a tight ship, it was very serious and profession. It was really stressful for me! I’ve been on a million sets before for videos and different things, so I figured I’d get there and it would be easy. The very first scene I had I was sitting across from Ben Stiller! "Oh shit, this is some real shit!" Thanks to my sister I took it all seriously.

So is this the start of a beautiful new career? If any fantastic filmmakers want to offer me roles, I’ll consider it! Paul Stokes @Stokesie

We'll have more from Horovitz soon. For information on the film, head to While-were-young.com.