‘Just Say No’: Mario Van Peebles Claims His Hit Film ‘New Jack City’ Helped Get People…

July 18, 2022 by No Comments

Director and actor Mario Van Peebles is making some bold claims about his 1990 hit crime thriller “New Jack City.”

According to the 65-year-old, people have credited his film for aiding them through their battles with drg adicion.

As many viewers may remember, the culture-moving film “New Jack City” featured a star-studded cast of talented Black actors, including Peebles, Wesley Snipes, Ice-T, Allen Payne, Chris Rock, Judd Nelson, and Bill Cobbs.

The film followed Snipes’ character Nino Brown and his rise as a drug lord in New York City during the crack epidemic. However, Rock’s role as “Pookie” Benny Robinson, a former stick-up kid who becomes homeless after being sht, is perhaps the film’s most memorable storyline. Pookie subsequently becomes a crack addict but soon enters rehab and eventually becomes informant but relapses.

During a recent interview with Page Six, the Mexico City native claimed that he’s still approached by people who say they were scared straight out of their addictions after seeing the movie, telling the outlet, “We made that victim Chris Rock, who so [sic] took you in that we deglamorized the f–k out of crack, man.”

He continued, “You know, ‘Scarface,’ Tony Montana, it’s still a little aspirational sniffing mountains of coke … but there is no way in ‘New Jack City’ when you see that alleyway scene to say, ‘You know, this looks like a real good idea.’ Nothing sexy about it at all. We showed ‘New Jack City,’ and kids stood up and said.

Elsewhere Peebles opened up about another influential filmmaker in his life, his father, Melvin Van Peebles. The late director was best known for creating and starring in several projects in the 1970s, including “Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song” and “Watermelon Man.” He died in September 2021 at the age of 89.

“My father took me to meet some of the folks in the Black Panthers, and I got to be a PA on the set of his movies. I got this wonderful multicultural, multiracial, global exposure as a kid that really helped me as an artist.”


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