Sundance fav gets proper welcome

Recalling his first “Hustle & Flow” impression, star Terrence Howard said he found it difficult to get past the words pimp, rapper and weed.

“It seemed to propagate a stereotype,” the actor said Tuesday, following a Gotham unspooling, hosted by Par Classics and MTV Films.

But after reading the script, he changed his tune.

“I wanted to jump in and help him,” Howard said of his character Djay. “I saw a man drowning and I wanted to save his life; funny thing is, ultimately, he ended up leading me back to shore.”

Matt Dillon, “Hotel Rwanda” helmer Terry George, Jim Sheridan and George C. Wolfe threw a post-screening fete at Fizz for the “Hustle” gang.

George opted to co-host for one reason: Terrence Howard.

“He’s like a Don Cheadle,” George said. “His day will come.”

As for Dillon, who co-starred with Howard in “Crash,” it was an easy decision. “I’d do anything for Terrence,” he said.

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