Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that Method Man has been revered as one of the sexiest men in the entertainment industry right now. While he’s always been easy on the eyes, the last few years have seen the rapper-turned-actor go viral on social media many times due to his fineness such as the time he performed with Mary J. Blige during the 2019 BET Awards and his current role as the savvy, but arrogant lawyer Davis Maclean on Power Book II: Ghost.
However, inESSENCE’s digital cover story, the 51-year-old admitted his newfound fame as a sex symbol is something that he can’t wrap his head around. “I don’t understand that sh--,” he said. “I go to the gym for my own peace of mind. I don’t do it to become someone’s sex symbol or a pinup on someone’s wall. I do it for me.”
In the same breath, he does acknowledge that he likes the attention just as long as people take him “seriously.” “I’m the same as everybody else. But at the end of the day, take me seriously, not lightly,” he said.
Not being fully comfortable with how he’s being viewed as of late may have something to do with the environment he was raised in. Method Man was born and raised in Staten Island, New York, which is where he and his Wu-Tang Clan group members began their rap careers. “Understand, I was a Black boy living in some of the worst areas in New York,” he said. “I’ve always felt like I wasn’t enough. I’ve been told that from the gate, ‘You don’t belong here.’ Sometimes even without words.”
Method Man began his workout journey almost four years ago after battling insomnia, which he talked about in an interview with Jemele Hill on her podcast. He also shared how his kids feel about him being called a sex symbol.
“The sexiest thing about being sexy to me is not trying to be. You ask my kids, my kids will say sh-t like this, they’re like, ‘where?’ Sexy where? This n–ga?” he said jokingly.
He continued, “You take it all in strides. And, I don’t know, man, I’m bashful, I guess. You try to put yourself in a comfortable space and say, ‘OK, well, I earned that.' I didn’t pine for that. I didn’t try to prostitute myself to make girls like me — take my shirt off at every show type of thing. It just happened progressively, and I like that.”
With his hard work and dedication to his body, he told ESSENCE that he’s now eyeing more roles that may show off his stamina and physique, such as an action movie.
“I’ve done the training; I’ve done the fitness; give me my Michael B. Jordan in Creed moment,” he said.
Featured image by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images