Wilson Bethel proved himself to be more than just a pretty face (and a seriously killer body) when Call Me Doctor, a music video he wrote, premiered in January and hit Immortal ranking (100,000 views) within the first 24 hours.
The Hart of Dixie star now is back and rocking the mic right once again as the writer/creator/producer/star of Stupid Hype, a new digital series that will help launch The CW's Digital Channel this September. Not only has TheInsider.com snagged an exclusive photo of Wilson as the titular 90s rapper, but we caught up with Wilson to find out how Hype came to be, what Vanilla Ice has to do with it and when we might see Rachel Bilson spitting some more ill rhymes!
TheInsider.com: Where did Stupid Hype come from?
Wilson Bethel: A version of this character existed some years ago – he was a stupid British rapper named Industry that I would bring out at parties and start free-styling. My brother and I were on a hike when we started talking about a version of Industry that was a little more like Vanilla Ice. A slightly more muddled white rapper that existed in the early 90s. That got me on a Vanilla Ice kick, so I started watching a lot of YouTube videos, which led me to his incredible, would-be-star vehicle, Cool as Ice – that really cemented the idea for me in terms of realizing how much gold could be mined from him.
Insider.com: Is it presented like mockumentary?
Wilson: I used to make fake documentaries as Industry, but we loved the idea of making, essentially, a movie that looked like it was made in 1990. What we ended up with was a 50 minute film that is then broken up into 6 minute episodes.
Insider.com: Given the success of Call Me Doctor, did The CW give you creative license here?
Wilson: That's an understatement. I was absolutely shocked at how little The CW meddled with this entire process. It was kind of insane how much freedom they gave me. They didn't ask to proof-read scripts or anything – it was just take the ball and run with it, which not a lot of big directors or writers have in this town, let alone a goofball like myself.
Insider.com: They didn't even flinch when you shaved the sides of your head?
Wilson: [laughs] Yea ... they didn't see that picture. It's funny, I stopped into the Hart of Dixie writer's room the other day and the hair is still growing back in, but they were a little shocked. This was a total out of left field move on my part, so I'm taking a lot of Blue Green Algae, which apparently makes your hair grow faster. Also taking some other hair growing supplements, and let me tell you, my nails have never grown so fiercely!
Insider.com: Can we expect any cameos from your Hart co-stars?
Wilson: This whole process happened in less than three months from the time I pitched the idea to the time we finished shooting. Rachel wanted to do something with it, but she was out of the country -- we may have to do a second season of Stupid Hype so she can get to reprise her thug-lite role. But I have to say, Flava Flav makes a pretty legendary appearance in the show, so I can't complain too much.
Insider.com: What can you tease about the original music you've written for Hype?
Wilson: Let's Get Laid is one of the hit singles. There's an introspective slow jam rap song in the vain of L.L. Cool J's I Need Love, titled Who Am I? The grand finale battle rap is yet to be titled, but part of the real draw to this from the outset was the music. I've been a DJ for years and a music lover forever. My brother and I went into this looking to make as much original music as possible. When this comes out, we'll have five or six original songs to accompany the piece. Only five will appear in the series, but we'll release the others as bonus tracks. Basically we're taking cues from a wide variety of hip-hop rap and pop sub-genres from that era, and making new music that hopefully you listen to and say, "That reminds me of [fill in the blank] from 1990."
Insider.com: At their Upfronts, The CW made it sound like this was the first of many collaborations we can expect from you and CW Digital.
Wilson: The CW has been incredibly good to me in more ways than one, so I'm excited to do more and bigger projects with them in the future. My ultimate goal is to create a show that The CW would air. They have a really rich vision for the network and they're using this kind of adolescent period in their own experience to explore what the future of the network will be. Ultimately, I'd like to be a part of that future more than just being on one of their shows. They're clearly willing to take risks – I mean, they wrote me a check for way too much money and didn't ask any questions [laughs].
Insider.com: When you stopped by the HoD writer's room, did you learn anything new about season two?
Wilson: I eased a few bits of news out of them – the word on the street is there will be a lot of sex for Wade,in the first half of the season, which should tickle fans ... and doesn't sound like a bad idea to me either. There's a lot of sex and that ups his swag factor.
Insider.com: Sounds like Wade and Zoe won't be boyfriend/girlfriend when season two picks up then...
Wilson: I suspect that there will be plenty of that push and pull regardless. From the outset, one of the things I responded to really strongly to is the Zoe and Wade dynamic. That's been established as their dynamic from the first episode, but nothing will come too easily for them.
Stupid Hype premieres this September on The CW's digital channel.
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- Vanilla Ice
- Rachel Bilson