In fact, Rhames says he has never watched the 1970s series and says his version has nothing to do with the original, except for the detectives trademark lollipop.
But even his rationale for the sucker is different than Savalas.
Rhames says he once read that the original Kojak star sucked on a Tootsie Pop because he was trying to quit smoking but says his character does it as a way to connect with people, especially kids who might be otherwise intimidated by a large, bald black man.
For the record, Rhames prefers cherry lollipops but hes not worried the suckers will add to his waistline because, I usually dont need more than three takes to get a scene.
Kojak debuts March 25 on the USA cable network with a two-hour movie and airs Sunday nights starting April 3.
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