Actor and singer Tyrese Gibson has never consumed alcohol or smoked in his life, but he’s needed a few pick-me-ups in the last few months. The star of Fast Five, the near-reboot of the Fast and The Furious franchise, was moonlighting on the set of Transformers 3, writing a book and finishing an album–all at the same time.
“I don’t know how it was possible but I ended up shooting Fast 5 and Transformers at the same time, over the course of six and a half months. Plus writing my book and finished it. 5 hour energy drinks saved my life.”
The California native reprises his role as Roman Pierce, a charismatic street racer and car thief who is best friends with Paul Walker’s Brian O’Connor. Gibson first took on the roll in 2003’s 2 Fast 2 Furious and is happy to be back in the mix.
“Paul walker, he’s the most loyal dude ever. He literally fought to get me back in the franchise,” Tyrese says of his co-star and close friend. “I was supposed to be in 4, at the end to try and help pull Dom out of the bus. But it didn’t work out.”
Roman makes a return just in time as Dominic (played by Vin Diesel) and the crew get together to pull off one last big job. The stakes are higher than ever as pride and pink slips take a back seat to millions of dollars and the possibility of a life behind bars. Their adventure takes the team way south of the border to Brazil to take on the most feared drug lord in the country. While they only shot in Brazil for about a month Tyrese had more than enough time to take in the sites.
“Brazil is a place where every man who’s single can have the time of their life,” he says. “I consider Brazil “man’s heaven.” It’s a beautiful country with beautiful people. I haven’t seen a woman whose outta shape. The thing is we only shot in Brazil for six days. The preparation in Brazil was about like a month. But we mainly shot in Puerto Rico and then we moved on to Atlanta. If you know there’s a bunch of interior shots inside of a factory, that’s Atlanta. So I guess it’s the film makers job to make it look like were in Brazil the whole time.”
In an industry where everyone is multitasking it’s not surprising that Tyrese was working on his latest album, Open Invitation, while filming Fast Five. However, don’t expect any slow jam cutaways of Tyrese and a hot model on the hood of a sports car during your top 10 video countdown show anytime soon.
“I’m like a mad scientist when it comes to music and my new album is way too special to take advantage of these soundtrack opportunities,” he says. ” There is nothing like doing a song and video on someone else’s expense, but I still feel that I have the shovel in my hand right now and I’m still digging to discover the musical Tyrese.”
What Gibson is not afraid to plug is his new book, “How To Get Out of Your Own Way”. The gripping memoir, inspired by his popular bog piece “The Love Circle,” has received high praise from Rev Run, Will Smith and Deepak Chopra.
“Nothing has moved me in ten years like how writing this book has,” says Gibson. “I go into great detail about about things I was exposed to. I was born in Martin Luther King Hospital in 1978 and look at me now. I deal with politics, racism, people that just decide to judge you for who you are regardless of what you can do. I didn’t write a book, I wrote life.”
Right now the only thing that seems to be in Tyrese’s way is a full night’s sleep. Whether he’s drag-racing police cars in down town Rio or fighting aliens with robots in disguise you can always find him behind the wheel heading to that next opportunity. Make sure to catch him in his waking life in Fast Five this weekend opening in theaters everywhere.