Machine Gun Kelly has opened up about what it was like playing Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee in the upcoming Netflix film based on the band’s wild past.

The Dirt is based on the group memoir the band wrote in 2001 of the same name. Colson Baker, better known as rapper Machine Gun Kelly, spoke to Billboard about what the book meant to him growing up and what it was like embodying a character as big as Lee.

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MGK told Billboard that The Dirt was his “Bible” when he was 13-years-old. However, he now realizes that he might have had the “wrong idols” growing up.

When you’re 13, you don’t really understand problems too much, so you’re just looking at all the things that glitter. It wasn’t until we were on set and doing these scenes that we were like, ‘Whoa, this is dark. What are people going to think about this?’ the Cleveland rapper said. “But there’s something about the truth in that book — the fact that you do fall in love with these people [who] then do this giant nose dive into this dark place.”

Much like Lee, MGK said since he dropped his first single “Wild Boy” that people expected him to behave over-the-top, but he’s kind of over that role.

“It was only punk rock when it was against what they were expecting. As soon as they want that, you have to move on to something else and get them to fall in love with that. That’s how you evolve,” MGK said.

MGK described Lee as the “puppy dog” of Mötley Crüe. He added that people tend to love him more when he makes mistakes. He also recalled the first time he met Lee in Atlanta, and said the two partied together at a show.

The actor also revealed what is was like to dress like Lee, shag hair and all.

“Tommy was big into Chucks and stuff like that back in the day. He was always wearing some combo of high white tube socks with [Nike] Cortezes with full hair metal glam gear,” the actor said.

On the surface, the film might just seem like a story of a badly behaved band who did outrageous things. But, MGK believes the film had a deeper meaning about life itself.

“[The Dirt] is just a more intensified version of what all of our lives really are: making mistakes and growing from them. No one just gets it right,” MGK said.

The Dirt will be released March 22 on Netflix.


See more: 16 memorable band photos

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