Rapper Common has ties to South Florida

Common (born Lonnie Rashid Lynn Jr.) is at the top of his game as an actor now.

Last year, the rapper stole scenes away from Jennifer Garner in The Odd Life of Timothy Green as a tough as nails soccer coach. On Friday he grabs the lead in LUV, playing Vincent, a spiffy ex-con who takes his young nephew Woody (Michael Rainey Jr.) out for a day he’ll never forget. Vincent teaches Woody how to ride a car, dress to impress and shoot a gun, among other adult activities. Common, 40, was attracted by LUV’s indie feel. “My agent sent this to me and he said, ‘Man, do I have a project for you,’” Common says from Los Angeles.

“The story was good and fresh, and more than anything, I was looking for a character I really could do something with.” Even though Vincent isn’t the greatest role model, Common felt he could make audiences relate to his actions. “I think you need to show the diversity of human beings,” says the Hell on Wheels star. “You can be a former criminal, you could be in jail, but still be a good person. That’s my duty as an actor.” The two headliners bonded during the shoot in Baltimore. “Working with a little kid is fun. I mean, I’m real focused and I couldn’t always play around with him, but we connected so organically.”

Don’t be surprised to see the Chicago native in South Florida. Serena Williams’ ex has family in Pembroke Pines.

“I love being in the ocean in the middle of winter.”

He also says he’s pretty good at bowling.