Hip-hop icon ANDRE 3000 was unafraid of damaging his image when he took acting classes to help him break into Hollywood, because he knew he had to suffer some humiliation to better himself.

The HEY YA! rapper, real name Andre Benjamin, caught the attention of movie producers and directors with his performances in Outkast's eye-catching videos - but he put his reputation on the line when he enrolled for acting classes in Los Angeles.

Benjamin's nerves were eased when he realised his teacher was unaware of his celebrity status, even though his classmates knew who he was.

He says, "You've built up this career as the most perfect, most cool superstar. And then, to embarrass yourself, it's hard. You have to do it completely or not at all."

21/03/2005 18:00