Rapper Common Stars in AMC Pilot

Hip hop artist Common has been tapped to star in a pilot for a new show in development at AMC entitled Hell on Wheels. Common, who has had supporting roles in a variety films of late, will play “Elam, a freed slave who comes west seeking work on the railroad and his place in the world. As a half black, half white man he does not completely belong to either world.”

I think Common is one of the better rapper-turned actors out there. While he’ll probably never have the raw on-screen magnetism as Tupac Shakur did, there is no doubt that he is a better performer than some of his peers (looking at you DMX and 50 Cent).

Rapper-turned-actor, Common, has been cast in one of the lead roles in AMC’s newest pilot, Hell on Wheels. Hell on Wheels is a contemporary western that centers on the building of the Transcontinental Railroad. The musician/actor most recently starred in the 2010 movie Just Wright, playing a basketball player who falls in love with his trainer, Queen Latifah. He also appeared in the hit comedy Date Night with Steve Carell and Tina Fey.

Common is a two-time Grammy-winner. Hell on Wheels marks Common’s first leading role on television.

“Common brings a layered intensity to a very complex role,” said Joel Stillerman, Senior Vice President of Programming, Production and Digital Content. “This part required someone who can transcend the stereotypes of the period and bring the character to life in a truly unique way, and he brings that. We are thrilled to have him join our cast.”

Common will take on the role of Elam, a freed slave who comes west seeking work on the railroad and his place in the world. As a half black, half white man he does not completely belong to either world. Continue reading the press release at Rainbow Media.

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