Method Man Breaks Down His 'Pretty Pimp' Style on 'The Deuce'

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Paul Schiraldi/HBO
Method Man in HBO’s The Deuce.

After co-starring in David Simon’s TV drama The Wire in the mid-2000s, Method Man decided to audition for two different roles on The Deuce, Simon’s new HBO series (which premiered Sept. 10) about the rise of the porn industry in the early 1970s. “I didn’t get the part,” says the Wu-Tang Clan rapper. “But they made a new role for me. They needed a ‘pretty pimp,’ so I fit the bill.” And, of course, the 46-year-old needed the right throwback look to stay pretty.

The Hair:
The straightened coif was Method Man’s idea: “I was doing research,” he says, “and then I ran into the Rev. Al Sharpton, and he was wearing his hair like that in the ’70s. I’m like, ‘Got it.’ ” Finding the right wig was a trial-and-error process. “It looks a little weird in the pilot,” he admits, “but after that they got it more laid-down so it didn't rise in the back.”

The Suit:
“I give credit to the wardrobe [team],” says Method Man of his collection of muted colors and oversize jackets, courtesy of costume designer Anna Terrazas. During production, the MC was in indirect fashion competition with Gary Carr, who plays another pimp on the show. “I’m trying to outclass his character,” he says. “Hopefully I pulled it off.”

The Shoes:
Method Man isn’t shy about how wide his feet are -- it’s the reason he usually wears Timberland boots. “But back then, they wore tight-ass shoes, like pointy-toed shit,” he says. It took multiple attempts each time he tried on a pair of retro leather kicks. “My toes were on fire,” he laments, “but I’ll suffer for my art.”

This article originally appeared in the Sept. 23 issue of Billboard.


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