By Stephen Ostrowski | July 26, 2016 | People
A tattoo artist is the toast of the evening, so I’m curious, do you have any tattoos?
LAMORNE MORRIS: No, I don’t have any tattoos… I’ve always wanted to get a tattoo…
What’s held you up?
LM: I feel like I’ll regret something, you know what mean? Because it’s permanent, unless you get it removed, which I hear is a pain in the a--. So I’ve always thought about getting a tattoo, I just didn’t know what to get. I’ve had a ton of ideas, but I always feel like I’m going to be the old dude going, “Sh--, why did I get this?” But you know, now my girlfriend is trying to convince me, so I’ve thought about it; maybe I’ll get his [Scott Campbell’s] card. I don’t know where he’s based but his stuff looks great.
What’s on your canvas, or like brainstorming cloud, of hypothetical tattoos you could get?
LM: Well I love film, I love sports. I was thinking about getting film strips, but in the film strips are like great sports moments. I don’t know. I’m a big Bulls fan, Michael Jordan fan, LeBron fan… basketball stuff might be too weird, because I’m not too good. But I’d like to think I’m a talented actor, so maybe something like that, drama masks. I don’t know, people tell me it’s cheesy, but I don’t know what else to get. I wouldn’t know what else to do. I just know I want something.
Speaking of basketball, as a Bulls fan, but also as a fictitious Latvian pro basketball player Winston on New Girl, what do you/your basketball alter-ego think of Dwyane Wade’s visit—or, excuse me, arrival—to the Bulls?
LM: I’m excited, man. I’m super excited. I love D-Wade. I’m born and raised Chicago. The Bulls were looking a little sketchy last season so I think now—I’m sad to see D-Rose [Derrick Rose] go and [Joakim] Noah go—but I think [Rajon] Rondo and D-Wade are not bad additions at all. Really excited to see what D-Wade can do, to see if still he has anything left in the tank, which I’m sure he does. I see the Bulls being top three in the East. I see Cleveland, I see New York, I see Chicago. Not necessarily in that order, but I see those three teams.
With D-Rose and Joakim Noah going to New York, do you feel your allegiance split at all, or is it Chicago before everything, regardless of who goes where?
LM: I’m a player fan. Always in the background I’ll be a Bulls fan, but my allegiance is—this is going to sound terrible—my allegiance is LeBron James [laughs]. I’m a big LeBron fan.
You’re going to potentially upset a lot of people by saying that.
LM: I know. However, now that he won a championship in Cleveland already, I feel like his legacy is going to be whatever it’s going to be. So now I’m back to the Bulls. So, with Rose leaving, I’m still going to be a die-hard Rose fan, but I’m rooting for the Bulls; I’m rooting for the Bulls all day. Bulls Bulls Bulls.
Speaking of Bulls, how often do you get back to Chicago and, more importantly, did you end up getting a table at Alinea?
LM: Oh man. Nope, I did not end up getting a table at Alinea. I get back to Chicago about two or three times a year, and neither time has involved a trip to Alinea. I drove past it the other day; hell I ate next door at a place called Boka. Didn’t eat at Alinea. They’re super packed; they’re super busy and like booked up. But it was my fault for trying to get a last-minute reservation.
But it seemed like you were getting the power of Twitter behind you.
LM: Man, I came so close. My buddy who owns Santa Monica Summer House here and Do-Rite Donuts knows the chef and knows all these people, so he was making calls for me and it turned into a real mission and a real thing that I thought was going to happen, but at the last minute it was just like ‘Nah sorry, we can’t do it tonight’ [laughs]. I was so sad.
So in between seasons, when you’re not poaching restaurant reservations—and a lot of the atmosphere this evening with Scott, and just past Hennessy collaborators, is about perfecting your craft and people realizing their visions—what do you do to further your craft, or really kind of chase that dream, and hone toward perfection?
LM: I write. Judd Apatow once told me that if I’m not writing, what am I doing? And no one’s going to give you anything, you’ve got to create. I’ve written an episode of New Girl before, there are other things that I’m working on, I have writing partners, so we’re always trying to create even during the season, the New Girl season.
I recently dove into comedic music, so I have a musical mockumentary that New Girl's Jake Johnson and me are working on producing and writing. [I’ve] got Baron Davis involved, I’ve got Common on the album. So, the music side—but it’s comedic music—is something that I’m really diving into as well to kind of create an overall body of work that’s not work, it’s just more fun for me. I’m in the studio with friends; we goof off, we tell jokes, we record stuff. Doesn’t feel like work, it’s all fun for me.
Is there a title set on the music project? I know “The Lamorning After Pill” was circulated around in that context, but is there an actual de facto name that can be attached to the music project yet?
LM: Yes. It’s “The Lamorning After Pill.”
LM: Yep. Life and Times of the Homie Steve. So it’s: “The LaMorning After Pill, Life and Times of the Homie Steve.” That’s my fake rap name, The Homie Steve, because it’s so not a rap name.
As someone who is legally named Stephen, I appreciate that. Can you give me any more insight into the logic behind Steve?
LM: Well, I’m a big fan of Flight of the Conchords, and there’s a song that they have called “Hiphopopotamus.” And one of the lines is, “Did Steve tell you that, perchance? Steve.” And that’s it. I don’t know why I found that line so funny, because it’s just a dude named Steve, and it’s such a just regular name, that there’s nothing strange about it. And that is the most gangster rap name I could think of is The Homie Steve, and then people were kind of like, “Really?” And I’m like, “Yeah man, why not?”
It’s compelling in how un-dangerous it is almost.
LM: Exactly. Exactly. It’s almost like—well, not quite, it’s almost like Chance the Rapper. To have “the Rapper” in your name is amazing. It’s like, “Oh, that’s great. I don’t care how you sound; I’m going to listen to you.” So that’s one of the reasons why I did it.
Absolutely. Last question, what can we expect out of Winston and Winston’s cat Ferguson on New Girl on the horizon?
LM: I don’t know. They haven’t sent us any scripts yet. But I hope that my character’s allowed to keep his beard. He’s going have a beard this season. I’m putting it out there: Winston has a beard this season and hopefully Ferguson grows one, too. And hopefully Ferguson has some kittens, man, I don’t know. I’m hoping Ferguson gets laid finally, because he might be the loneliest cat in the world. I think even Garfield was getting some booty. Heathcliff had to be getting some booty. Ferguson—ehh, I don’t know [laughs].
PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY HENNESSY
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