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Mike Epps

A dramatic actor with little time for games — Epps is more than just your ‘Friday’ fave

He’s popped off in classic films like 2000’s Next Friday, 2002’s All About the Benjamins, and Mike Epps, 45, surprised all with a sincere and romantic turn in HBO’s recent Bessie. The role of his life may just be portraying Richard Pryor in the “long-gestating” biopic, Richard Pryor: Is It Something I Said? featuring Oprah Winfrey, Kate Hudson and Eddie Murphy. And Epps has no plans for slowing down. He’s the title character in ABC’s new Uncle Buck (based on the 1989 John Hughes film), which premieres next month and costars Nia Long. In Epps’ nonexistent downtime, he enjoys (sometimes too much!) interacting on Twitter and Instagram, listening to Fetty Wap and One Way and spending time with his family. As he said at a recent Television Critics Association panel, “I’ve learned so much about who [Pryor] is. I’ve learned so much about comedy. I learned I’m not as crazy as I claim I am.” — Maya Jones

Which pro athlete would you never want to trade places with? Charles Barkley.

Is there a reason? He catches hell! Man, they say some crazy stuff about Charles.

What’s the one app you love that no one else loves? I don’t do apps too much. I have a few apps on here, let’s see … It’s called Old Photo PRO.

What’s a game on your phone you play competitively?

Nah. No games.

What question are you asked most by fans?

‘When y’all gonna do another Friday?’

What’s your response? I don’t know!

What is the last thing you googled? That song [Rose Royce’s 1977] Wishing on a Star.

Who would you want to play you in your biopic? Hmmm … he’s probably in class getting in trouble right now. I don’t know him. You know what I mean?

What is the most embarrassing music you have to admit you listen to? That song Laffy Taffy [by Atlanta’s D4L]. Man, what a horrible song. But I liked it!

What else is on your playlists? I’m definitely listening to Fetty Wap. I like Future. I like Anthony Hamilton. I’m old-school so I still listen to One Way and Marvin Gaye.

Are you most about Twitter/Snapchat/Facebook or —

“I’m stuck on Instagram right now…I’m trying to get with Snapchat. But I can’t get it.” — Mike Epps

What Instagram feed are you currently obsessed with? I like LIMITPUSH. They show people on buildings doing flips and stuff. You’ve never seen it? Aw, you gotta see this. It’s crazy.

Most frequently used emoji? See you’re talking to an old guy right now. Probably this one? *imitates the A-OK emoji*

Last concert you went to? Prince.

Last stamp on your passport? England.

Where does your courage come from? I think the Lion in The Wizard of Oz [laughs].

What will you always be the champ of? The game, Sorry! Man, I always win. We play for money sometimes [laughs].

What is one thing you did in the past year that you never thought you’d do? I got a granddaughter now and I took her to one of those fun, bungee joints. I thought I’d never have a granddaughter.

What keeps you undefeated? My kids. Just trying to make sure they have a decent life, that’s my job. My kids. Everything I do is for them to have something — to have a future.

Maya Jones is an associate editor at The Undefeated. She is a native New Orleanian who enjoys long walks down Frenchmen Street and romantic dates to Saints games.