Actor Ving Rhames has starred with Nicolas Cage before, in the prison breakout movie Con Air and also in Kiss of Death. So when he was offered a part playing opposite Cage again, Rhames jumped at the chance.
This time they star in Martin Scorsese's Bringing Out the Dead. CBS News This Morning reports.
In Bringing Out The Dead, Rhames plays a paramedic who spends a wild night driving around New York trying to save lives while working as Cage's partner.
"We shot it from 6 at night to 6 in the morning. It wasn't so difficult; the minute I got back to my hotel I just crashed," says Rhames.
"In my younger days I used to go to clubs that opened up at midnight, so seeing New York at night wasn't new for me," he adds.
What was new for him was working with Scorsese. The experience, he says, was a dream.
"I had a good time working with Scorsese. He creates a structured freedom for the actor, lets you help develop the character while keeping certain control," Rhames says.
Rhames has starred in many films, including Pulp Fiction, Out of Sight and Mission Impossible. Then there was HBO's Don King: Only in America, for which he won a Golden Globe award that he promptly gave to fellow nominee Jack Lemmon.
"Anything in life I do is part of me," says Rhames about his acting philosophy.
"I try to rise to the character's level. I assume the character's weight, the character's actions," he adds.
Rhames, who notes that he has a good working chemistry with Cage, points out that both actors shared the screen twice before in Con Air and Kiss Of Death.
"He's a good natural actor, and he says, 'Look, Ving, whatever you do, I will respond to it.' It's like a good tennis match, like Agassi vs. Sampras. We hit well together," he says.
Rhames, who also just finished six months of filming Mission Impossible II with Tom Cruise, terms it a positive experience.
"This movie is more character driven, which of course I enjoy. There's still plenty of action, but the characters are better drawn," he says.
Commenting on his working relationship with Cruise, Rhames explains it helps if you get along with the actor off camera.
"One time in London filming Mission I, I was in a restaurant eating, and Tom came in with an entourage. When I got up to pay my check they said, 'No, no, no, that's already been taken care of.' And Tom had paid. That's the kind of guy he is," he notes.
His next project is playing Sonny Liston. Rhames says he likes to portray real-life characters.
"I prefer playing people [with whom] I can sit down and talk to and get their perspectives on themselves. It's a blessing for an actor. One day I'll play Martin Luther King Jr., I'm sure," he says.
Rhames, who grew up in Harlem, feels fortunate to have had the breaks h had.
"The church I grew up with - that's what I owe my life and career to. I believe God stepped in and guided me. People were praying for me when I didn't even know it, but when I definitely needed it," he adds.
For film information, visit the Bringing Out the Dead official Web site.
And for an interview with Bringing Out the Dead's Patricia Arquette, see "Arquette Co-Stars With Cage."
©1999 CBS Worldwide Inc. All Rights Reserved