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inmate profile: Mario Van Peebles

With a mere ten days before American Warships premieres on the SyFy channel, it's time to turn the Committed spotlight on the film's talent, starting with one of the biggest stars to ever grace an Asylum film, the one and only Mario Van Peebles. 

Van Peebles was born into movies, being the son of famed director/writer Melvin Van Peebles, and as such, there isn't much he hasn't done in the industry: dude can not only act, but write, direct, produce and even pen some of the soundtrack. As an actor, Van Peebles' first role was in his father's landmark film Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song, when he was only 14. Taking a decade to mature and hone his craft, MVP emerged again in the early 80's with notable roles in Coppola's The Cotton Club, Clint Eastwood's Heartbreak Ridge and, of course, Jaws 4: The Revenge. 

It was the 1990's, however, in which MVP started really kicking ass, beginning with my personal favorite of his films, New Jack City in 1991, which also marked his big-screen directorial debut. I love this movie, always have; shit, I had the poster in my room as a teenager, it's probably still rolled up in a closet somewhere at my folks' house. If you haven't seen New Jack City since the early 90's, check it out again stat, that movie holds up in a major way, all Color Me Badd aside.

From New Jack City, it was on: the action-packed western Posse, which he also directed, historical drama Panther, which he also directed, Highlander: The Final Dimension, in which he had awesome hair (to the left), Solo, in which he had no hair (to the right), Michael Mann's Ali, in which he played Malcolm X, Baadasssss! which he also wrote and directed, based on the making of his father's blaxploitation classic, and about a trillion other projects, including 43 episodes of All My Children and this year, We The Party, his latest directorial effort. Then, of course, there's American Warships, in which he plays Captain Winston, commander of an American battleship. Warship, sorry, Warship.

Needless to say, and all pun intended, Mario Van Peebles is a badass. Watch him doing what he does best - kickin' ass - next Saturday, May 19th, at 9 p.m. on the SyFy Channel when The Asylum's American Warships makes its World Premiere.

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