Snoop Dogg says he never really wanted to learn how to fly a plane and that he never “takes commercial airlines no more,” but when the script came around for “Soul Plane,” he insisted that he should be the pilot.

“When they came to me with the idea, I told them I wanted to be the captain of the jet, or I wasn’t going to do it,” says the hip-hop star. “It sounded like fun.”

Director Jessy Terrero, who met the singer after directing his “Tell it Like It Is” music video, didn’t think Snoop was serious – at first.

“I thought he was kidding with me when he said he wanted to fly the plane, but he was serious, and he came through perfectly,” says the first-time feature director.

It’s all about Snoop being in control, and now that he’s clean and sober he says it’s even more important to be captain of his own ship. Wearing a straw hat, jeans, a big gold chain and a Jimmy Walker “Dyno-mite” T-shirt, the goateed, dreadlocked singer sucks lemons (“for my voice”) during his interview with, keeping his sunglasses on the whole time.

In the film, Dogg plays the questionable Capt. Mack, who learned how to fly by taking lessons on a flight simulator while in prison. He later gets stoned while flying the plane and overdoses on mushrooms.

Snoop doesn’t mind spoofing the perpetually stoned reputation he’s earned as a rap star and in films such as “Half Baked” and “The Wash.”

In fact, the rapper is so clean now, he and his children were spotted at a recent Lakers games hanging out with Tom Hanks and family.

“I know people expect to see a certain image of me, but we try to educate with some of this,” he says. “And besides, Huggy Bear (in “Starsky and Hutch’) wasn’t stoned, and I didn’t do drugs in “Bones.”‘

“Bones,” opposite Pam Grier in 2001, was Snoop’s first feature role and it won him critical acclaim. Since then he has appeared in “Training Day,” “Baby Boy” and “Urban Menace.”

While Snoop is having a degree of success with his acting career, don’t plan on him giving up music.

“I like acting, but I’ll always do music,” says Dogg, whose new album comes out in August. “I’ll do the sequel to “Starsky and Hutch’ only if they give me a lot more money and make my part bigger.”

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