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When you’ve been successful in the entertainment industry as long as Method Man has, you might think accolades no longer matter. But that certainly isn’t the case for the Power Book II: Ghost star who just won Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series from the NAACP.

“This is special,” he tells ESSENCE. “This is my first acting award. I cherish it even more because it’s NAACP. My people love me.”

Though the WuTang rapper has been acting since the ’90s, this is a role where he really wanted to show his capabilities on screen.

“My first thing was to prove that I was dedicated to the art because a lot of people cut the line and jump in and cut their teeth in acting and they aren’t that good at it,” he says. “They’re good enough that they get by but to the trained eye you can tell they’re not being honest. I just wanted to cut my teeth, show my dedication as well as do the work. And I think that I’ve done the work and I deserve to be here.”

Another place where Method Man is doing the work is in the gym. If you follow him on Instagram, you’ve seen the new PRs he’s hit deadlifting and squatting. And while many actors step up their fitness game to look good on screen, the New Yorker actually started working out at 4 o’clock in the morning because of his sleep disorder.

“Slowly but surely I cured the insomnia and found myself a new hobby,” he says. “It’s working out for me. This is what 50 looks like.”

As it turns out, Method Man is a fan of another one of our favorite fine 50-year-olds, Lenny Kravitz.

“Have you seen Lenny? Lenny Kravitz? Lenny is killing it! You wanna talk about Black excellence, from his mom to his cousin, to his daughter, to his ex-wife-baby mama– just excellence all over the board. Let’s talk about it.”

Check out our full interview with Method Man in the video above. 

The 52nd NAACP Image Awards airs tonight at 8 pm and will be simulcast across ViacomCBS Networks.

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