Watch CBSN Live

LL Cool J: Hot For Horror Flicks

How can a rap singer known for his message of nonviolence star in one of the year's most frightening horror movies?

"First of all, let's understand that this is fantasy," LL Cool J tells CBS 'This Morning' Entertainment Contributor Eleanor Mondale about his latest film, Halloween H2O. "It's horrific, but it's There's a big difference.

"I'm not telling you to be like Michael Myers at home. I don't want little kids to go home and say, 'You know what? Let's be like Michael Myers and kill my parents.' It's not the thing to do. This is a movie for entertainment."

The two-time Grammy winner has spent the last decade using his celebrity status to draw attention to his nonviolent philosophy. He says, "I don't like violence. I've seen violence, seen people I love be victims of violence, and there's nothing cool about it."

Cool J, who is not yet 30, is a confessed fan of horror films. In fact, he says he saw the original Halloween movie in the theaters when he was just a child.

"My mother - everybody thinks this is like really crazy, but my mother took me to see the original Halloween movie." Now, 20 years later, he's starring in the sequel with Jamie Leigh Curtis and Adam Arkin.

Born in St. Albans, N.Y. with the name James Todd Smith, LL Cool J was rapping before he was 10. By the time he was 13, he had adopted his stage name, which stands for "Ladies Love Cool James."

He released his first album in 1985 and, since then, has starred in movies and a TV series, become an advertising pitchman for soda, clothing, and Major League baseball, and written his own autobiography I Make My Own Rules.

Married and the father of three, he divides his time between California and New York.

In a battle against the poverty and violence that marred his own youth, the hip-hop legend founded Camp Cool J for underprivileged children, primarily from the inner city. His foundation also offers programs on AIDS, drug abuse, and other issues that affect young people.

"Everybody wants to be rich and everybody wants to be powerful and everybody wants to have influence," he says. "But the flip side to all of that is being able to sleep at night."

Family is important to him and so is the way his family thinks of him.

"You can have family members who look at the things that you do, and they love you, but they don't respect the way you live, and they wish you weren't the way you are," he says. "I don't want my kids and my wife or my family to look at me like that. I want them to be able to look at me and say, 'You know, he cares about people'."

Will he take his own children to see Halloween H2O? Yes, he says, because it has all the staples of a good, old-fashioned thriller: "blood drips, wounds gush pen, throats open up. It's everything you want to love in a horror movie."

But, most importantly, "I'm in it, so , yeah, my kids are going to see it."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue