The actor and rapper, who voices The Flu in the clip, spoke to PEOPLE about the seasonal threat and why he has been getting the flu vaccine for 20 years
Ice-T is returning to the screen — this time in a new "horror" film that involves a real-life threat.
The actor and rapper, 65, has partnered with global healthcare company Sanofi for their latest flu vaccine campaign, "The Season," which is set against the backdrop of a horror story.
"The Season” appears to be a movie trailer for a new thriller, but the video is actually about a different kind of threat: the flu — voiced by Ice-T himself.
The trailer starts with suspenseful music set to cryptic images of outdoor scenes and unsuspecting adults. "There are warnings about me this time every year," Ice T narrates. "Some say there is nothing to worry about. Others think I'm harmless or gone for good. But I'm still here, biding my time...
"I'm the flu. And the only thing I'll say, is 'Get Ready for Me.' "
Last year, the U.S. experienced one of its worst flu seasons, and experts say there could be a resurgence this year. Yet more than half the U.S. adult population does not get a flu vaccine.
PEOPLE sat down with the Law & Order star to learn more about the campaign.
Why did you decide to get involved in this campaign?
IT: One of the things about Ice-T is that people expect me to tell the truth. That’s my trademark. I’m not promoting anything that I don’t actually do. I’ve been taking the flu vaccine for 20 years. I’m not afraid of vaccines. I was in the military. When we would travel overseas, we would be vaccinated intensely and it kept us safe.
Why do you believe it's important for people to get the flu vaccine?
IT: It’s a choice. For me personally, I’m in an industry where they don’t have sick days. If I show up sick, production will implode. So I try to avoid being sick at all costs. I’m like, "Give me what you got! Give me that extra dose, shoot it in my eyeball!" They also told me that being 65 – even though I don’t look 65 — there is a special vaccine for people my age. So that’s the one I took: Sanofi’s Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent flu vaccine.
How does being a dad influence your decision?
I have a 7-year-old daughter, who can potentially bring germs home from school. Kids are like a petri dish, and I don’t want her to get sick from me or vice versa. Getting the flu vaccine has just become a ritual of mine.
What do you hope that people take away from the campaign?
IT: A lot of times people will look to other people and be like, “Okay, if Ice-T does it and Ice-T is cool, then I’ll do it too.” There is nothing to be ashamed of. Men are very different about going to the doctor than women are. If my wife breaks a nail, she goes to the doctor. For men, we almost have to be dead to go to the doctor. So I’m hoping that when men see this, they won’t be afraid to go get a flu vaccine. I’m also hoping that the campaign makes more people aware.
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