For those of us who grew up in the ‘90s, some things never get old. Dunkaroos. A good flannel shirt. The list goes on, but always landing somewhere at the top? The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Fortunately for parents today, it’s easy to introduce your favorite pizza-eating humanoid terrapins to your own kids — because they’re back, baby. In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem, the New York City-dwelling turtle bros (along with their new friend April O’Neil) are intent on being accepted as normal teenagers… oh, and taking down a mysterious crime syndicate, too.
Heading up the crime syndicate is none other than icon Ice Cube. He plays the criminal mutant Superfly who is, yes, a giant mutant insect. Superfly believes the world would be better off without humanity, so he plans to unleash a ton of other nefarious mutants on the wider world.
Considering Ice Cube’s own kids were huge TMNT fans growing up, saying yes to the role wasn’t a tough call. Although, it probably didn’t hurt knowing he’d have an all-star cast of comic actors playing fellow villains: Rose Byrne (Leatherhead), Post Malone (Ray Rillet), Paul Rudd (Mondo Gecko), Seth Rogen (Bebop), and John Cena (Rocksteady).
Scary Mommy caught up with Ice Cube for a quick Zoom to tap into what makes this new version of TMNT so exciting — plus, in true TMNT spirit, to find out his favorite pizza toppings.
Scary Mommy: What sold you on the idea of playing the criminal mutant Superfly?
Ice Cube: Oh, man … what’s not to like? First of all, being a part of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles — such a storied franchise, over 30 years of fandom and 30 years of doing great animation and live-action and comic books and all that. Then, being a new character and the leader of all the other mutants, working with Seth Rogen [who co-wrote the screenplay, and executive produced], working with Jeff Rowe and Kyler Spears [the co-director] — there was so much to attract me to this film.
SM: You’ve said your kids were fans of the OG movies growing up, so you obviously know and love these characters. Who are you most like in real life?
IC: Michelangelo (laughs). Straight leader, you know what I mean? Follow me and I’ll lead you to the Promised Land for sure. He’s my favorite one.
SM: What’s really the thing that jumps out the most to you about the movie?
IC: The animation. Like, I’m blown away by the style that was used in this film. I’m a hip-hop fan; we’ve seen graffiti from all over the world, different styles, and this reminded me of a whole movie of graffiti artists doing an animated movie … I was just looking forward to each scene and how it was gonna be presented.
SM: Pizza is huge in the TMNT universe. What are your favorite toppings, and what toppings do you think are downright criminal?
IC: My favorite toppings are chicken, olives, mushrooms. I like pastrami on pizza; that’s great. I think the toppings that are criminal are pepperoni (laughs), and I don’t like sausage. But when you start like putting tomatoes and, you know, anchovies and stuff like that, you lose me — you lose me. I’m not a bell pepper guy, onions, all that kind of stuff, man. Save it for a salad.
This interview has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.
Catch Ice Cube as criminal mutant mastermind Superfly in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem, in theaters starting Aug. 2.