A Minute With: Pitbull on music, Jennifer Lopez and 'Epic'

Wed May 22, 2013 9:06am EDT
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By Zorianna Kit

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Rapper Pitbull has taken his blend of American pop music fused with Latin beats from the clubs of Miami to international pop charts, but he now is crossing into film with his first acting role as an animated character in the upcoming movie, "Epic."

Pitbull, whose real name is Armando Perez, has become a staple in the pop music field with lively dance-floor tracks including recent chart hits "Feel This Moment" with Christina Aguilera and "Live it Up" with Jennifer Lopez.

The rapper, 32, plays street-smart frog Bufo in "Epic," due to be released on Friday and which explores a secret universe where the natural world is battling evil forces.

Pitbull talked to Reuters about his film debut, working with Lopez and the origins of his numerous nicknames.

Q: What do you make of this whole animation world you got a chance to work in?

A: Before I didn't understand what it meant to put a voice to animation and see it come to life. But I'm always game for trying new things. I love how those artists could see my voice on the character before it was even drawn up.

Q: How did the animators bring your influence to the character of Bufo the frog? Did they capture your essence?

A: They captured a piece of my essence, absolutely. The suits, the business/hustler, knowing how to navigate his way through the good and bad. Bufo knows how to play the middle. It's business, not personal for him. I think they captured about 75 percent of my essence. The gestures, the hand movements, the way he walks - I think they watched me a lot in the studio when I was there.   Continued...

Pitbull (top) and Jennifer Lopez (C) perform during the Season 12 finale of "American Idol" in Los Angeles May 16, 2013. REUTERS/Phil McCarten