"Q&A;: Ne-Yo, aliens coming to theaters"

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Olivier Douliery | The Daily Wildcat Ne-Yo arrives at the BET HONORS 2011 at the Warner Theatre in Washington, D.C., Saturday, January 15, 2011. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/MCT)


R&B; superstar Ne-Yo will be making his third movie appearance in the upcoming sci-fi blockbuster ""Battle: Los Angeles."" Not satisfied with topping Billboard charts, Ne-Yo seeks to follow in the footsteps of such varied performers as 50 Cent, DMX, LL Cool J, The Game and Mos Def.  Wildlife had a chance to interview the performer about his music influences and experiences with the film:



Who were your musical influences and who in your life influenced you musically?

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I grew up listening to a lot of soul music and Marvin Gaye, all Motown and all of that. My mother was a woman who was into a lot of things. She started listening to Big Band Sound, Sammy Davis Jr., Frank Sinatra and all that. It was all about the melody for her. She said if there was a melody she could relate to it. My mom was my hero, so anything she liked.



As far as my musical influences, I always call it ""my four"": Michael Jackson, Sammy Davis Jr., Prince and Stevie Wonder.



How did you prepare for your role as a marine in ""Battle: LA""?



I didn't have to do much self-preparation. The people who did the movie did it all for us. We trained with actual marines for three weeks. We had a gunnery sergeant and a sergeant major there. They treated us like we were real marines trying to become marines in boot camp. It was a little difficult, to say the least, waking up at 5 a.m. every morning, jogging four or five miles every day. It was worth it. We can see now we look like actual marines. That was our goal: that a seasoned marine could go to see this and say, ""They know what they are doing.""



What about the script made you choose to do the role?



If you look at the script and took it seriously, I could see how it would definitely make a person think. I don't think aliens are going to come take us out any time, but one lesson to learn is you shouldn't put anything off till tomorrow. You never know what's going to happen.



How did Director Jonathan Liebesman work with you to create a natural performance with the CGI experience?



Jonathan Liebesman is a slave driver. He is very, very much a perfectionist. He was that kind of guy that would push and push and push until you wanted to punch him in the face, but the result was the best possible performance. I am still very much a novice actor, so for me to act terrified of something that's not actually there, it was difficult. A lot of the seasoned actors, Michelle Rodriguez, they helped me out.



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