Person of Interest: Slaine
A menacing mug has turned him into Hollywood's go-to Boston tough guy, but for Slaine, it's no act.
Clad in a “Love Machine” T-shirtÂ and sporting a black eye (bar fight), Slaine leans on the J.J. Foleyâ€™s counter. He orders an IPA and a shot of Jameson. â€śItâ€™s been a rough week,â€ť he says.
Appearances notwithstanding, thatâ€™s hard to believe. The 33-year-old rapperâ€™s debut solo album, A World With No Skies, comes out August 16, marking the pinnacle of a 15-year music career. Heâ€™s been featured in two Ben Affleckâ€“directed, Boston-set movies â€” as getaway driver Gloansy in last yearâ€™s The Town and as gun runner Bubba Rogowski in 2007â€™s Gone Baby Gone â€” and is set to appear alongside Brad Pitt and Ray Liotta in next yearâ€™s mob flick Coganâ€™s Trade. Heâ€™s got a home here and one in L.A., and a son heâ€™s nuts about. But that shiner, and lyrics chronicling lifelong battles with personal demons and depression â€” the latest setbacks being a divorce and legal snafus that delayed his albumâ€™s release for nearly a year â€” serve as nasty reminders of a difficult past that five years ago looked very much like his future.
When Slaine â€” born George Carroll Jr. â€” got the offer to audition for Gone Baby Gone, he was living in a Roxbury warehouse with no electricity or hot water. Heâ€™d struggled with cocaine abuse in the past (these days he sticks to booze), and earned a reputation as a hard partier while rising steadily in the indie hip-hop scene. In March 2006, when Gone Baby Goneâ€™s producers were searching for a tough white guy to fill a small role, they discovered Slaineâ€™s face scowling up from the pages of a Herald feature on his music career. At 9 a.m., Affleck started calling the rapper, who had gone to sleep two hours earlier. â€śI passed out,â€ť Slaine recalls, â€śand when I woke up I had 66 missed calls.â€ť
Despite having no previous acting experience â€” and getting drunk before the audition â€” Slaine landed the part. Other successes soon followed, with Affleck giving him the double boost of including a few of his tracks in both Gone Baby Gone and The Town. Today, heâ€™s Hollywoodâ€™s Southie standby. â€śMy life has changed vastly in the past five years,â€ť he says. â€śThereâ€™s a lot of pain attached to my music, but having a creative outlet saved me.â€ť
Source URL: http://www.bostonmagazine.com/2011/07/person-of-interest-slaine/