Outkast movie-maker BRYAN BARBER cast experienced actors in the hip-hop outfit's upcoming film, because he wants it to be taken seriously.

ANDRE 3000 and Big Boi make their big screen debuts in the picture - a 1930s period musical - but Barber rejected the opportunity to fill the film with other musicians.

He tells MTV NEWS, "I wanted to surround them with actors that had a history of feature films. The predictable thing is when you surround rappers in a movie with their peers. And everyone knows Outkast is everything but predictable."

However, Barber did create roles for singers Macy Gray and Patti Labelle, who impressed him with their powerful screen presence.

He adds, "Macy Gray is great in the movie as a jaded singer. She opens the movie."

03/02/2005 09:27