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Wayne Brady doesn't play nice in 'Crossover'

By Hanh Nguyen

Zap2it.com

Wayne Brady admits that he's "incredibly" tired of requests to quote the "Chappelle's Show" sketch in which he plays himself as a foul-mouthed, violent pimp who terrorizes prostitutes, cops and Dave Chappelle himself.

"I think it's a wonderful compliment," he says in an interview to promote the film "Crossover." "I'm glad people love the sketch, but that's what it was, a sketch. So if my hip factor rose in certain quadrants, good for them."

Brady is more than ready to move on and show what else he can do. The comedian, singer, dancer, writer and producer takes a dramatic turn in "Crossover." He plays Vaughn, a former sports agent who now earns big bucks overseeing Detroit's underground streetball matches.

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"I loved being able to play a guy who was pretty much selfish, a little amoral and driven just for himself," says Brady. "I thought it'd be a nice departure from some of the other things I've done."

Vaughn sees dollar signs when he spots Cruise (Wesley Jonathan) play during a late-night match and promises that he can usher the young man into the coveted NBA. Cruise, however, is only intent on using his basketball skills to maintain his med school scholarship so he can one day realize his dream of becoming a doctor. Despite Vaughn's disregard for other people's wishes, Brady doesn't see Vaughn as a true bad guy.

"He's not a villain at all," insists the actor. "He's a businessman who sees an opportunity and tries to manipulate it as best he can. And along the way, he screws up this other guy's life, but none of it is evilly intentioned. I've run into a lot of people who they're very much business first, and just like Vaughn, they're not out to hurt you, but by the same token, you probably shouldn't be in their way when they're trying to get stuff done."

In fact, Vaughn is so focused on his shady career path, he doesn't have time for personal relationships. This singlemindedness is symbolized by the NBA championship ring he wears on the ring finger of his left hand.

"Yes, that was a choice that I actually made," says Brady. "He isn't married, but he's married to his job. His job at one point was a sports agent, and he made a decision to leave that job and come out to Detroit when he felt he wasn't a big enough fish. That sort of wrecked his life and his relationship with his girlfriend (played by Kristen Wilson). So that's pretty much a reminder to himself that business comes first."

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