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André 3000 on His Jimi Hendrix Role, 10 Years of "Hey Ya!" and Mustaches

With a look every bit as playful as his stage name, André Benjamin—the actor and hip-hop star better known as André 3000—has been at the forefront of men's fashion for more than a decade now. That distinction extends to the OutKast legend's meticulously sculpted facial hair, so it's fitting that Gillette has retained him as spokesman for the launch of its ProGlide Styler shaving tool. When not pitching products, Benjamin spends his time dishing out guest vocals (see his contribution to Frank Ocean's "Pink Matter"), reciting dialogue on movie sets (most notably, the upcoming Jimi Hendrix biopic All Is by My Side), contemplating that long-awaited solo debut (sadly, the date is still TBA), and answering a few questions for Details.

DETAILS: Along with Adrien Brody and Gael García Bernal, you're one of Gillette's Masters of Style. Which of you has the best facial hair?

ANDRÉ 3000: Gael! No, me. You know, I like what I do with myself.

DETAILS: Ever had any regretful bouts with facial hair, though?

ANDRÉ 3000: No, because I didn't get facial hair until about 25 or 26. Once I got it I kept it, and I haven't changed since.

DETAILS: Since you're participating in Movember, who were your mustache heroes growing up?

ANDRÉ 3000: You got to think, I was born in 1975, so Billy Dee Williams was the biggest icon with a mustache—and Tom Selleck. Like Magnum P.I. and Billy Dee Williams, you always wanted to have a cool mustache.

DETAILS: You've been very fashion-forward over the years. What's your look for 2013?

ANDRÉ 3000: I can't tell the future; I can just tell you about right now. It's all about grinding and working hard at whatever you're doing. Whatever makes you feel comfortable working, that's the look. And I think, generally, the world is roughing it right now. Everything is rougher.

DETAILS: Any suggestions on where to get that look?

ANDRÉ 3000: Honestly, I haven't shopped in a long time. That's how much on the grind I am. I've just been piecing together things I've had before and just making it happen. Today, I'm not wearing anything I've bought in the last four or five years.

DETAILS: What keeps something timeless for you?

ANDRÉ 3000: The function of it. Sometimes, that one extravagant piece works on its own, but it only works one or two times, and that's it. We're living in a time where "extravagant" doesn't really make sense. So now I just try to find things that I'm comfortable in but can wear with other things.

DETAILS: What's the biggest fashion faux pas you see guys making these days?

ANDRÉ 3000: I don't like to judge, man. People judge me, and I know I've made mistakes, possibly. But it's all about the thought behind it. I can't really shoot down somebody's idea for trying, you know?

DETAILS: It must have been tricky to play Jimi Hendrix. How did you channel him?

ANDRÉ 3000: It was a ride. I tried to figure out what Hendrix would want people to know that we don't already know. So, you go through a lot of footage, you listen to a lot of interviews, you read the things he read, you listen to the music he was inspired by. I didn't approach it as "let me be this iconic guy." I approached it as playing a guy who loved what he was doing and whose only way out was his guitar playing.

DETAILS: Does the plot tell his entire life story?

ANDRÉ 3000: I can't let the story out of the bag too much, but I can say that this won't be a long video, like us recreating YouTube moments. I think Hendrix would be proud. It's not a vanity piece, trying to squeeze the man's whole life into two hours. That just doesn't work.

DETAILS: You couldn't use his music, right?

ANDRÉ 3000: No, but we didn't have to. The story we're telling, we never needed it.



DETAILS: Believe it or not, next year is the 10th anniversary of OutKast's biggest hit, "Hey Ya!"

ANDRÉ 3000: Really? I didn't know that. You never know what those songs are going to turn out to be. I'm just happy I was a part of it.

DETAILS: Big Boi has a new solo record coming out. Can we please have an André 3000 record?

ANDRÉ 3000: I hope we can!

DETAILS: Soon?

ANDRÉ 3000: I can't say soon.

—The Details editors

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Also on Details.com:
Hollywood Mavericks Starring Leonardo DiCaprio
How to Dress Like a Style Icon
Q&A: 50 Cent

Photo: Gillette
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