Funnyman Mike Epps got deadly serious about his new role as a pimp in Whitney Houston's final film - because it brought back a lot of bad memories from his criminal past.
I have to show through my work what I've been through, what I can do and how I feel about my past."
The Hangover star has kept his past convictions largely to himself over the years, but now he's talking about his troubled youth as he explains how he channelled the character of Satin in new movie Sparkle.
Epps tells WENN, "I have four felonies and convictions. I'm from Indiana. You can type my name in - Michael Elliot Epps - and you will see that I've been to the Department of Corrections and I've been on drugs and I've slapped a couple of b**ches before in my life.
"Not in a mean way, but I've been through some things in my life and I was cast for that role because I feel like the Lord knew that I could handle that role.
"Now that I'm an older person, I'm married, I've got beautiful kids, my life has changed; all of that stuff is behind me and the business don't know that.
"I have to show through my work what I've been through, what I can do and how I feel about my past. I reach back and grab some of that dirty s**t I was in and I put it into this work now. Crime wasn't paying me at first! Now Hollywood is paying me. This was the first time I had the opportunity to tap into this stuff on film."