Picks and Pans Review: Sounds Off

updated 03/29/2004 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/29/2004 AT 01:00 AM EST

Ving Rhames Versatile Ving Rhames, 44, a dad of three with wife Deborah, plays a zombie-battling cop in a remake of the cult horror classic Dawn of the Dead, opening March 19.

ON WORKING HORROR I'm not necessarily a fan of that genre of film. At first I was thinking, "Okay, this could be a B-rated horror movie," but the production value is extremely high. What I liked about the script was, I read it as an atrocity that brings people from different cultures together. These people decide, 'Look, we need one another as human beings.' Unfortunately, as humans, it seems like it takes an atrocity to bring us together, to try and love one another.

ON TANGLING WITH ZOMBIES It was a lot of physical work. We had to be in shape. I run, lift weights and box. It was like boxing. In the ring you have to be relaxed with punches coming at you.

ON BEING SOAKED IN FAKE BLOOD It was no big deal. The blood was made out of Kara syrup, or they would mix glycerin with food dye.

ON LINKS WITH HIS COSTART I met Mekhi [Phifer] years ago on a plane so it was great to see him. He grew up in Harlem, where I grew up, and even with our age difference, we really clicked. Jake Weber went to Juilliard and I went to Juilliard. So there was a great chemistry all around.

ON FAMILY LIFE My son is named Freedom and is the first male child of the Rhames clan not born into poverty. My daughter is Reignbeau, which means to rule beautifully because she is the first female. And my step-daughter is Tiffany. Normally, we're playing games or they're riding on my back. My son always wants to tackle me.

ON RETEAMING WITH TOM CRUSE He's really just a special human being. Being a part of Mission: Impossible 3 [which starts filming this summer] is something I'm looking forward to. My character Luther was behind the computer and still is, but this time he does get to kick some ass. If you can make a living doing what you love doing, then you're very blessed.

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