The rapper and actor talked to about his role in the holiday flick Fred Claus and his passions, from acting to his daughter...and even Santa!

Por Laura Kusnyer / NYC
Updated Octubre 26, 2007

You know him as Ludacris, the Grammy-winning rapper whose hits have been bumping clubs and the radio since 2000. Now meet Chris Bridges, the actor and father. His memorable performance in the 2005 drama Crash let moviegoers know he was acting presence here to stay. And his six-year-old daughter, Karma, drives the 30-year-old artist to keep up the hard work.

His latest movie Fred Claus marks Bridges' first try at comedic acting with his role as an elf who DJs the North Pole. The holiday flick, which also stars Vince Vaughn, Kevin Spacey and Paul Giamatti, hits theaters Nov. 9.

The actor spoke exclusively with about the new comedy, his acting role models and Christmastime with his daughter.

Tell me about your movie Fred Claus…
I'm the DJ of the North Pole. So of course I play an elf. They took my head and put it on a little person's body. Vince Vaughn [plays] Fred Claus, he's Santa Claus' brother…Basically, he gets himself into a troublesome situation, and his brother has to bail him out, and to repay he has to come to the North Pole and work off his debt. So that's where he meets me and a host of other elves.

What's your funniest moment with Vince?
I'm not actually an angry elf, [but] there's a scene when I get angry: Basically he wants me to change the song that I'm playing, and I tell him no. So I stand up to him and I'm just like 3 or 4 feet tall, and he's so tall. So that's the funniest scene in my opinion.

What was it like working with him?
He's a real down-to-earth guy, real cool.

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Are any of the cast members acting role models for you?
Definitely. I take a little something from everybody. I admire Kevin Spacey and Paul Giamatti for all of their accomplishments. It's about soaking up the energy and learning from these guys.

Who's your biggest acting role model?
Denzel Washington. And I think Jeffrey Wright is a very underrated actor.

Does acting let you express a part of yourself that you can't express through music?
Well, I guess you could say that Ludacris is a character of mine because it's a part of me. So to answer your question, yes, because depending on the character and the movie, you get to play different roles and show different emotions. You take a piece out of yourself and bring it to the forefront. Acting does give me a chance to do things that my music wouldn't allow me to do.

Did working on the movie put you in the Christmas spirit?
Absolutely. And now that I have a daughter – she's six years old – I'm going to have to explain to her why I'm an elf in the North Pole.

Does Karma (his daughter) still believe in Santa Claus?
Yes, she does. One day I might have to break the news. But for now I'm gonna have to come up with something slick for this movie.

How old were you when you stopped believing in Santa Claus?
I want to say like 8 or 9. I went to school one day, it was show and tell, and I had a postcard from Santa Claus, and the rest of the class started laughing at me.

What was the best present Santa ever brought you?
The best present Santa ever brought me was no present. It made me realize that I need to be able to provide [and] get to a point when I can provide for my children to never have them go through that.

Do you spoil your daughter, or do you want her to experience the same lesson?
A little bit of both. I reward her when she's good, and when she isn't good, she doesn't get rewarded. But she's been really good, so she's pretty much gotten rewarded.

Are you working on any other projects right now?
I just finished a movie called RocknRolla that Guy Ritchie wrote and directed. [It stars] Thandie Newton [and] Jeremy Piven. It picks up where Snatch and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels left off.

Are you excited for the upcoming holiday season?
I'm always excited for Christmas time. It's a great feeling. It's a time to chill with family and friends. It just makes you feel good.