While simultaneously maintaining a successful musical career, the rapper has appeared in a number of TV shows and films since his debut single “Day ‘N’ Nite” in 2008
Look for Scott Mescudi in the credits.
Better known as his stage name Kid Cudi, the Grammy-winning artist's pursuit of happiness doesn't just derive from making music — it stems from his passion for acting as well.
Cudi is combining his dual talents in Adam McKay's latest movie, Don't Look Up, premiering Dec. 10 – alongside a star-studded cast including Meryl Streep, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Ariana Grande, Jonah Hill, and Tyler Perry.
Not only does the 37-year-old rapper star in the film, but he collaborated with Grande on the track "Just Look Up" for the movie's soundtrack.
In addition to his work in Don't Look Up, the artist has held roles in several notable movies and TV shows over the years – all while creating smash hits and chart-topping albums since his debut single "Day 'N' Nite" in 2008.
In fact, Cudi's showbiz pursuit goes way back before his music career began. The Ohio native attended the University of Toledo as a film major, but dropped out after a year and moved to Brooklyn to embark on his rap career.
While in New York, he met with Kanye West who signed him to his label GOOD Music in 2009. Around the same time, he landed his first TV role on HBO's How to Make It in America.
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No stranger to the network, Cudi has appeared on quite a few HBO shows such as Westworld and most recently We Are Who We Are, a show from Call Me by Your Name director Luca Guadagnino.
"He's a great actor," Guadagnino told Esquire. "But for me to be on set is to be with people that I worship, that I love, that I want to spend time with, and I felt that energy with him."
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Timothee Chalamet, whose breakout role was Elio in Call Me by Your Name, is actually a close pal of Cudi's and costars alongside him in Don't Look Up. "I'll send Timmy audition tapes, like, 'Yo, tell me if this is good or not.' And he'll tell me! I've got some support. It's dope," Cudi told Esquire.
Cudi even expressed his excitement about working with Chalamet on Instagram when he was cast in Don't Look Up. "Excited isn't even the word," he wrote. "To be a part of this epic cast is unreal. And my first movie w my brother Timmy. God is good."
With a number of acting credits already, the rapper and actor has even more upcoming projects in the works, including Netflix's Entergalactic, a horror-thriller movie called X, and Disney+'s Crater.
While we patiently await Cudi's future projects, let's take a look back at his most memorable roles to date.
How to Make It in America was Cudi's first TV stint. He played the role of Domingo Brown, the well-connected friend of lead Bryan Greenberg's character. The show ran for two seasons until in cancelation in 2011.
Shortly after releasing "Immortal" from his third studio album Indicud in 2013, Cudi made a voice cameo on The Cleveland Show. His character's name was Devon, who was Roberta's love interest in the episode titled "Cleveland Quits His Job."
Goodbye World marked Cudi's first feature-length film in 2013, a movie surrounding an apocalyptic attack. He played a character named Lev alongside Entourage's Adrian Grenier, another former HBO actor.
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Cudi appeared in an episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine in 2013. His character, Dustin Whitman, was an ex-convict who's suspected of committing another crime by Jake (Andy Samberg), the police officer who previously arrested him.
The rapper took his acting career to new heights with his role in the video game-turned-action film Need for Speed. Playing the role of Benny, Cudi told Entertainment Weekly prior to filming that "there would be very minimal green-screen time and that [he'd] be flying around for real."
He added, "I'm not one of those guys who gets airsick, but it was just kinda like, the reality of it was crazy. But once it set in, I knew it was going to make for a cool experience."
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Two Night Stand marked another substantial movie role for Cudi, who was handpicked by director Max Nichols to play Cedric in the romantic comedy.
"When we went to cast Cedric, we said, 'Man, Cedric is so funny in all of the scenes that he's in,'" Nichols told The Hollywood Reporter. "He's a character that's designed to steal scenes, and that's what Cudi really does too. He comes in and you can't help but pay attention to him."
Taking a break from his comedic roles, Cudi took on a character in James White that "was way different than anything else [he's] ever done," he told Billboard.
Playing the gay best friend to the movie's heterosexual lead, Cudi continued, "It was dope to do that. I felt like I had a responsibility to present a different walk in life from that world."
In the film continuation of HBO's hit series of the same name, Cudi played the role of Allen, an assistant to Ari Gold's (Jeremy Piven).
"It's fun to see the nervousness, see someone who can't always bite back at Ari," Cudi said of his role in a video interview obtained by MTV. "He kind of has to take the brunt of everything. This guy really just wants to be the next Ari Gold."
In 2016, Cudi played Suga in the romantic drama Vincent N Roxxy alongside Emile Hirsch and Zoë Kravitz as the title characters.
Cudi tweeted a photo with Kravitz when they finished filming, writing, "Just wrapped a movie w this special one :)."
In 2019, Cudi had a cameo appearance in Drunk Parents as a tow truck driver, alongside notable Hollywood names. He posted his excitement on Facebook and wrote, "Did a cameo in the film Drunk Parents last month, worked w the always awesome Salma Hayek & Alec Baldwin. Can't wait for you all to see."
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Cudi made an appearance in season 3 of Westworld, where he played the role of Francis, Caleb (Aaron Paul)'s best friend.
Bill & Ted Face the Music was a dream job for the rapper, who's been a fan of the Bill & Ted franchise since he was young. He told ComingSoon.net that he loved playing himself, but "with a little twist."
"Sometimes it can be hard to play yourself because it's like, 'what is my onscreen fictional persona like? What's the difference between the real Kid Cudi and this movie Kid Cudi, you know?'
Compared to other projects where he played himself, he found this job fairly easy. He continued, "Just the fact that I'm a fan of the franchise, it was really easy for me to just kind of dive in."
In the HBO series set on an American military base in Italy, Cudi played Richard Poythress, a role that strayed from the usual characters he plays.
"I've done a really good job being the goofy best friend, or the stoner," he told Esquire. "Richard is a character that couldn't be more far from Scott," director Guadagnino told the publication. "It's the opposite."